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North Carolina State Library 



v d& Raleigh 



THE NORTH CAROLINA GEOLOGICAL AND 
ECONOMIC SURVEY 

JOSEPH HYDE PRATT, State Geologist 



BULLETIN No. 23 



Forest Conditions in Western North Carolina 



J. S. HOLMES 



Forester, North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey, and Forest Examiner, 
U. S. Forest Service , 



In Co-operation with the 

Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture 

HENRY S. GRAVES; Forester 




RALEIGH 

Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, State Printers 
1911 



GEOLOGICAL BOARD. 



Governor W. W. Kitchin, ex officio Chairman Raleigh. 

Frank R. Hewitt Asheville. 

Hugh MacRae Wilmington. 

R. D. Caldwell Lumberton. 

Dr. M. R. Braswell Rocky Mount . 

Joseph Hyde Pratt, State Geologist Chapel Hill. 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL. 



Chapel Hill, N. C, October 1, 1911. 

To His Excellency, Hon. "W*. W. Kitchin, 

Governor of North Carolina. 

Sir: One of the objects of the North Carolina Geological and Eco- 
nomic Survey is the investigation of the forests of the State. During 
the past two years the Survey has made a study of forest conditions in 
about thirty counties of the State, and in the present report there is 
given the result of the investigation of the forest conditions in Western 
North Carolina. The study upon which this report is based was 
undertaken by the Survey in connection with the Forest Service of the 
United States Department of Agriculture, the work being done under 
the direction of the office of State Cooperation in the Forest Service and 
under the local instruction of the State Geologist. By the terms of the 
cooperative agreement, the Survey is authorized to publish the findings 
of the investigation, and I herewith submit this report for publication as 
Bulletin No. 23 of the reports of the North Carolina Geological and 
Economic Survey. 

Yours respectfully, 

Joseph Hyde Pratt, 

State Geologist. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



Page 

Preface 9 

The region 11 

Physiographic features 11 

Accessibility 12 

Classification of land 13 

Valuation of land 13 

The forest 14 

General conditions 14 

Present stand 14 

Annual output 14 

Forest distribution by types 18 

Spruce forest 18 

Hardwood forest 20 

Plateau type 20 

Chestnut type 21 

Ridge 21 

Slope 21 

Cove 22 

Red oak type 22 

Beech and maple type 22 

Forest distribution by species 23 

Chestnut 23 

Red oaks 23 

Red oak 23 

Black oak 23 

Scarlet oak 24 

Spanish oak 24 

Blackjack oak 24 

White oaks 24 

White oak 24 

Post oak 25 

Yellow poplar 25 

Hemlock 25 

Chestnut oak 26 

Maple 26 

Sugar maple 26 

Red Maple 26 

Basswood 26 

Hickory 27 

Yellow pine 27 

Shortleaf pine , 27 

Pitch pine 27 

Scrub pine 27 

Table mountain pine 28 

White pine 28 

Red spruce 28 

Beech 29 

Ash , 29 

Buckeye 29 



6 CONTENTS. 

Forest distribution by species — Continued. Page 

Birch 29 

Balsam 30 

Cucumber 30 

Black gum 30 

Sweet gum 31 

Cherry 31 

Miscellaneous hardwood species 31 

Black walnut 31 

Butternut 31 

Black locust , 32 

Dogwood 32 

Silverbell 32 

Holly 32 

Sycamore 32 

Forest and economic conditions by counties 32 

Cherokee county 32 

Clay county 34 

Graham county 36 

Swain county 37 

Macon county -.....- 39 

Jackson county 40 

Haywood county 42 

Transylvania county 44 

Henderson county 46 

Buncombe county 48 

Madison county •. 49 

Yancey county 51 

Mitchell county 53 

Watauga county \ 56 

Ashe county 57 

Alleghany county 58 

Timber industries 60 

Lumber 60 

Band mills 60 

Portable mills 62 

Water mills 63 

Tanning extract 63 

Pulp wood 65 

Chestnut 66 

Spruce 66 

. Hemlock 67 

Poplar 68 

Pine 69 

Tanbark 69 

Minor timber industries 72 

Ties 72 

Poles 73 

Pins 73 

Shingles 74 

Miscellaneous products 74 

Transportation ■ - 75 

Rivers 75 

Railroads 75 

Dummy lines 76 

Flumes 76 

Wagon roads 77 

Forest management 78 

Removal of timber and reproduction of new stands 79 

Waste in logging 79 

Incomplete utilization 80 

Failure to cut merchantable trees 81 

Injury to trees left standing 81 



CONTENTS. 7 

Forest management — Continued. Page 

Method of cutting to secure reproduction 82 

Spruce forest 82 

Hardwood forest 84 

Selection Method 85 

Clear Cutting 85 

Plateau type 86 

Chestnut type 88 

Ridge 88 

Slope 90 

Cove 91 

Red oak type 92 

Beech and maple type. 92 

Care of stand 93 

Thinnings 93 

Protection of the forest 94 

Fire protection 94 

Fire laws 96 

Protection from stock 98 

Sale of standing timber 99 

Forest extension 101 

Planting 101 

Sowing 104 

Forest taxation 106 

Biltmore estate 106 

Appalachian National Forest Law 108 

Summary and conclusions 109 

List of Publications 112 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PLATE. Facing pag 

I. Typical Hardwood Forest of Western North Carolina: View from 

Hughes' Ridge, Swain County — Frontispiece 11 

II. Map of Region showing estimated stand per acre and percentage o 

forest land 14 

III. Spruce Forest 19 

A, Mature spruce forest, showing adequate reproduction. 

B, Mature spruce forest, burnt over and destroyed twelve years ago. 

IV. The Lumber Industry 60 

A, Logging white pine and hemlock, Mitchell County. 

B, Binding poplar boards for export, Swain County. 

V. Pulpwood and Tanning Extract Industries 65 

Works of Champion Fibre Co., Canton. 
VI. Tanning Industry 70 

A, Tannery of Cover & Sons, Andrews. 

B, Unloading bark from cars and storing in shed. 

C, A large crop. Stacking surplus bark in the open. 

VII. Pulpwood and Tanning Extract Industries 76 

A, Spruce pulpwood, from flume to cars. 

B, Chestnut extract wood in yard of Cherokee Tanning Extract Co., 
Andrews. 

VIII. Reforestation of Abandoned Lands 104 

A, Sugar maple plantation, 8 years old, Buncombe County. 

B, Thrifty growth of balsam plantation, at elevation of 3,800 feet, 

Watauga County. 



PREFACE. 

The act of the North Carolina General Assembly of 1905 creating the 
North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey defines as one of the 
principal objects of the Survey "the examination and classification of 
* * * the forests * * * of the State with special reference to their 
bearing on the occupations of the people." This same act authorizes 
"the State Geologist to arrange for and accept such aid and cooperation 
from the several United States Government Bureaus as may assist in 
carrying out the provisions of this chapter." 

In accordance with these provisions, in the summer of 1909 the State 
Geologist made arrangements with the Forest Service of the United 
States Department of Agriculture for a cooperative study of the forest 
conditions of North Carolina. The mountain region naturally called for 
first attention in a study of this kind, because of its large proportion of 
forest land and because of the tremendous present and future impor- 
tance of its forests to the people of that region and to the State as a 
whole. The value of the forests extends also to neighboring States, 
through which the streams rising in these mountains flow, and even to 
those farther off, that depend on the Southern Appalachian region for 
their supply of hardwoods. A very large proportion of this area consists 
of absolute forest land, and, in the future, when the greater part of the 
more level land to the east will be cleared and used for agriculture, these 
mountainsides will be called upon to furnish the hardwood timber 
needed to supply the varied industries of the State. 

The results of former investigations are embodied in various State 
and Federal reports*, but this one takes up a new phase of this subject, 

*North Carolina Geological Survey Bulletin 6, Forests and Forest Trees of North Carolina. 

Sen. Doc. 84. Message of the President of the United States Transmitting a Report of the Secretary 
of Agriculture in relation to the Forests, Rivers, and Mountains of the Southern Appalachian Region. 
Published 1902. 

Professional Paper No. 37, Geological Survey. The Southern Appalachian Forests. H. B. Ayres 
and W. W. Ashe. Published 1905. 

Professional Paper No. 72, Geological Survey. Denudation and Erosion in the Southern Appalach- 
ian Region and the Monongahela Basin. LeoDidas C. Glenn. Published 1911. 

Sen. Doc. 91. Report of the Secretary of Agriculture on the Southern Appalachian and White Moun- 
tain watersheds. Published 1908. 

Circular 105, Forest Service. White Oak in the Southern Appalachians. W. B. Greeley and W. W. 
Ashe. Published July 25, 1907. 

Circular 116, Forest Service. The Waning Hardwood Supply and the Appalachian Forests. William 
L. Hall. Published September 24, 1907. 

Circular 118, Forest Service. Management of Second Growth in the Southern Appalachians. Ra- 
phael Zon. Published December 16, 1907. 

Circular 135, Forest Service. Chestnut Oak in the Southern Appalachians. H. D. Foster and W. 
W. Ashe. Published August 31, 1908. 

Circular 143, Forest Service. The relation of the Southern Appalachian Mountains to Inland 
Water Navigation. M. O. Leighton and A. H. Horton. Published March 7, 1908. 

Circular 144, Forest Service. The Relation of the Southern Appalachian Mountains to the Develop- 
ment of Water Power. M. O. Leighton, M. R. Hall, and R. H. Bolster Published March 20, 1908. 

Department of Agriculture Yearbook Extract 214. Practical Forestry in the Southern Appalachians. 
Overton W. Price. Reprint from Yearbook of 1900. 



10 PREFACE. 

and treats of the present condition of the forest and of forest industries, 
with their economic relation to the people of the region and to the State 
as a whole. It is primarily for the owners of forest land to furnish 
them with information as to the proper management of their forest 
holdings. 

The study upon which this report is based was made in the summer of 
1909 by J. S. Holmes, Forester to the North Carolina Geological and 
Economic Survey, assisted by Messrs. W. B. Willey and A. W. Wil- 
liamson, Forest Assistants in the United States Forest Service. The 
cost of the investigation was borne equally by the State and Federal 
Governments. 

Further reports along the same lines will be published as the results 
of examinations of the forests of other portions of the State. 

Acknowledgment is made to lumbermen, mill men, and others who, 
by their courteous answers to requests for information, assisted materi- 
ally in the preparation of this report. 

Joseph Hyde Pratt, 

State Geologist. 




. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA, 



By J. S. HOLMES. 



THE KEGION. 

It is probable that Western North Carolina is more widely known for 
its fine climate, pure water, and beautiful scenery than for any others 
of its natural advantages. Thousands of health and pleasure seekers 
come each winter to this "Land of the Sky" to escape the rigors of the 
northern and eastern states, while tens of thousands flock each sum- 
mer from the south. The entertainment of these summer and winter 
visitors or tourists forms a most important and promising industry, for 
they bring into the country each year from two and a half to three mil- 
lion dollars. The large part that the forests play in the tourist traffic, 
by increasing the purity of the streams and making the country more 
beautiful and interesting, is not generally realized ; yet forest and stream 
and climate are Western North Carolina's most valuable assets. With 
the conservation of the forests, the improvement of the roads, and the 
extension of railroads, the attractiveness as well as the accessibility of 
the country will be tremendously enhanced, and the number of visitors 
will steadily increase. 

Of even greater economic importance are the timber resources. The 
hardwoods of the Southern Appalachians are as widely known among 
buyers and users of wood products as the climatic advantages are by the 
traveling public. Oak, chestnut, poplar, cherry, walnut, and other 
woods are shipped to all of the eastern states, even to Canada and to 
Europe; and furniture made in North Carolina from wood grown in 
these mountains goes all over the world. 

Agriculture, which in most parts of the State stands first among the 
important industries, takes third place in the mountains, and, if only 
those farm products which bring a cash return are counted, is unim- 
portant, though considerable quantities of apples and cabbages are 
shipped out of the region, and corn, cattle, chickens, eggs, butter, fruit, 
and garden truck are sold locally. 

PHYSIOGRAPHIC FEATURES. 

A portion of the Blue Kidge extends across Western North Carolina in 
a southwesterly direction from Fisher Peak (3,609 feet) on the Virginia 
line to Eabun Bald (4,600 feet), just across the line in Georgia, a dis- 



12 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

tance of 200 miles. Approximately parallel, to the northwest, is the 
Unaka Range, consisting of the Stone, Iron, Great Smoky, and Unaka 
mountains, forming the line between North Carolina and Tennessee. 
Between these two great ranges lie the sixteen mountain counties of the 
State: Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Swain, Macon, Jackson, Haywood, 
Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, Wa- 
tauga, Ashe, and Alleghany. This region, with a total length of 230 
miles and a width varying from 10 to 50 miles, contains the highest 
mountains east of the Rockies, more than forty peaks rising to 6,000 
feet or more. The topography is for the most part rugged, though there 
are large areas of comparatively level land in several of the counties. 
The elevations vary from about 1,300 feet, where two or three of the 
largest rivers pass out of the State along its western border, to the 6,711 
feet of Mt. Mitchell ; the average elevation is from 2,000 to 3,000 feet. 

Almost all the drainage is toward the north and west and, with the 
exception of the northeast corner of the region, which is drained by New 
River, the streams are mainly tributary to the Tennessee. Parts of a 
few of the counties, however, extend over onto the southeast slopes of 
the Blue Ridge, and from these small areas the streams run south and 
east to rivers that flow into the Atlantic. 

The geological formation is chiefly Pre-Cambrian, consisting of 
gneisses, schists, granite, diorites, and other crystalline rocks, which break 
down into stiff red clays. With proper care these clays make excellent 
agricultural soils. Two well-defined areas, however, of Cambrian forma- 
tion, consisting of conglomerates, quartzites, and slates, cross the region 
— one quite narrow, in or near the Blue Ridge, and the other in the 
Unaka range, narrow at the northern end but widening out toward the 
southwest until it covers practically all of Swain, Graham, and Chero- 
kee counties and parts of several others. The soil resulting from the 
decomposition of these rocks is sandy, with a yellowish clay subsoil, and 
is rather less suitable for agriculture. It seems, however, to favor a 
heavier growth of timber. 

ACCESSIBILITY. 

The accessibility of timber largely determines its value and also de- 
termines methods of forest management. 

Western North Carolina is well supplied with railroads, there being 
no fewer than ten railroad outlets. Yet the greater part of the best 
timber is remote from transportation and can not be marketed profitably 
until new lines are built or extensions made. Since 1909, however, rail- 
road development has been rapid, so that now only the three extreme 
northeastern counties are without railroads, while spurs or extensions 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 13 

are under construction or are definitely planned for about half the 
mountain counties. The wagon roads, which are the chief feeders for 
the railroads, are in most cases unimproved; and though they are often 
fairly good in dry summer weather, many of them become almost im- 
passable in winter. Nothing could add more to the value of timber and 
give proper encouragement to proper methods of forestry than the con- 
struction of good roads. This question of transportation is discussed in 
more detail later. 

CLASSIFICATION OF LAND. 

Throughout the region, agricultural land is held mostly in small 
areas, and a farm of more than 500 acres is exceptional. In nearly all 
counties, however, some forest land is held in large bodies by lumber 
companies, or speculators; and in some counties more than 60 per cent 
of the land is in tracts of more than 1000 acres in extent. But since all 
of this is rough, mountain woodland, unsuited to agriculture, such ten- 
ure is no drawback, but rather an advantage; for by keeping the full 
stand of timber, the land retains a full valuation, which is reduced as 
soon as the timber is taken off. 

The proportion of cleared to forested land varies considerably in the 
different counties, depending on the transportation facilities and suita- 
bility for farming. In the region as a whole about 24 per cent of the 
land has at one time been cleared. While most of this land still pro- 
duces agricultural crops, a good deal of it in some counties has been 
"thrown out," or abandoned, because it is too poor and too much washed 
for profitable cultivation. Such land usually produces worthless briars 
and bushes, or in some cases reverts to a scattered growth of oldfield pine 
or hardwood of little present or prospective value. 

VALUATION OF LAND. 

Land throughout this region is taxed according to its assessed value. 
The values are revised every four years by a board of assessors, and are 
usually from one-third to two-thirds the actual sale value. The assess- 
ment on timber land varies from $2 to $7 an acre, and is about half as 
much on land that has been cut over. The sale value of well timbered 
stands varies from $10 to $20 an acre, some areas having been sold for 
even higher than this ; while cutover or culled woodlands sell at from less 
than $3 to $10 an acre, according to location. The assessed value of 
cleared land varies much more since it is influenced not only by quality 
and location, but by improvements. Cleared land is, as a rule, valued 
much too low when the cost of clearing and other improvements are 
taken into consideration. 



14 * FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

THE FOREST. 

GENERAL CONDITIONS. 

The forests of this region are largely confined to absolute forest land, 
that is, land potentially more valuable for forest growth than for any- 
thing else. The forest may best serve for the production of timber, or 
it may be required mainly to prevent erosion or to protect and regulate 
a water supply. In the main, the mountains are so steep and the soil 
is so shallow that the removal of the forest cover and the cultivation of 
the land are followed in a comparatively few years by the washing away 
of the fine surface soil and the abandonment of the land for agricultural 
purposes. 'Not only have practically all of the areas suitable for agri- 
culture been cleared — including the bottoms along the streams, gently 
rolling plateau land and hilltops, the lower gradual slopes, and the 
mountain cover — but much absolute forest land has also been cleared. 
It used to be that farmers cleared a "new ground" each year, and 
abandoned to "old fields" an equivalent of "worn out" land. This prac- 
tice is now giving place to improved methods by which the cleared land 
is kept in good condition. Though much land has been cleared for agri- 
culture, some of which is now reverting to forest, 76 per cent of this 
region is forested, or a little more than three million acres in the 16 
counties. present stand. 

The greater part of the forest has been reduced to cull stands of com- 
paratively small and second class timber. Only two or three counties 
have virgin forests of any considerable extent, and these are mostly con- 
trolled by large lumber firms. Table 1 shows the relative amount of 
forest in each county, by areas and by species. About eleven billion feet 
of timber in trees 10 inches and over in diameter breasthigh remains; 
this is equivalent to an average stand of a little more than 3,000 board 
feet for every acre of forest land. The larger part of the forested area, 
however, has less than this, as shown on the accompanying forest map. 

ANNUAL OUTPUT. 

The lumber cut for the entire State, which had been gradually rising, 
amounted to more than 1,622 million feet in 1907, but because of busi- 
ness depression declined 30 per cent in 1908. In 1909 North Carolina 
jumped to fourth place, from thirteenth in 1908, with a cut of 2,177,- 
715,000 board feet. The figures for 1909 given in the following tables 
should form a very fair and conservative estimate of the average annual 
output from the region. Tables 3 to 8 show the estimated output of tim- 
ber by certain industries for 1909. These estimates were made by a 
careful mill canvass. The figures for the lumber cut for 1909, however, 
are those of the United States Census Bureau. 



14 • FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

THE FOREST. 

GENERAL CONDITIONS. 

The forests of this region are largely confined to absolute forest land, 
that is, land potentially more valuable for forest growth than for any- 
thing else. The forest may best serve for the production of timber, or 
it may be required mainly to prevent erosion or to protect and regulate 
a water supply. In the main, the mountains are so steep and the soil 
is so shallow that the removal of the forest cover and the cultivation of 
the land are followed in a comparatively few years by the washing away 
of the fine surface soil and the abandonment of the land for agricultural 
purposes. Not only have practically all of the areas suitable for agri- 
culture been cleared — including the bottoms along the streams, gently 
rolling plateau land and hilltops, the lower gradual slopes, and the 
mountain cover — but much absolute forest land has also been cleared. 
It used to be that farmers cleared a "new ground" each year, and 
abandoned to "old fields" an equivalent of "worn out" land. This prac- 
tice is now giving place to improved methods by which the cleared land 
is kept in good condition. Though much land has been cleared for agri- 
culture, some of which is now reverting to forest, 76 per cent of this 
region is forested, or a little more than three million acres in the 16 
counties. present stand. 

The greater part of the forest has been reduced to cull stands of com- 
paratively small and second class timber. Only two or three counties 
have virgin forests of any considerable extent, and these are mostly con- 
trolled by large lumber firms. Table 1 shows the relative amount of 
forest in each county, by areas and by species. About eleven billion feet 
of timber in trees 10 inches and over in diameter breasthigh remains; 
this is equivalent to an average stand of a little more than 3,000 board 
feet for every acre of forest land. The larger part of the forested area, 
however, has less than this, as shown on the accompanying forest map. 

ANNUAL OUTPUT. 

The lumber cut for the entire State, which had been gradually rising, 
amounted to more than 1,622 million feet in 1907, but because of busi- 
ness depression declined 30 per cent in 1908. In 1909 North Carolina 
jumped to fourth place, from thirteenth in 1908, with a cut of 2,177,- 
715,000 board feet. The figures for 1909 given in the following tables 
should form a very fair and conservative estimate of the average annual 
output from the region. Tables 3 to 8 show the estimated output of tim- 
ber by certain industries for 1909. These estimates were made by a 
careful mill canvass. The figures for the lumber cut for 1909, however, 
are those of the United States Census Bureau. 



/T*5f?fi 



RGINIA BOUNDARY 



FOREST CONDITIONS 
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA 

FIELD EXAMINATION BY J. S. HOLM ES, W.B.WI LLEY AND A.VV.WI LLIAMSON 
JULY-NOVEMBER . 1909 

STAND IN FEET, B.M 

( PER flCP,E ) 

BELOW 1000 
1000 - 2500 
2500 - 5000 
5000 - 7000 
OVER - 7000 

Spruce type is indicated by cross-lining in black . The remaining 

area is Mixed Hardwood type . Figures w. thin the areas of 

stand classification indicate the percentage of forest land 



SCALE 



Base map compile 




forest Service. 
United States Department of Agriculture. 



North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey. 



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FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 



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FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLIN^. 



17 



Table 2, which shows the total output of timber in the region during 
1909, is given in cubic feet as the best common basis for comparison, 
much the larger part of the output being measured on this basis. The 
table shows a total cut for the year from the 16 mountain counties of 
about 32,270,000 cubic feet. This represents only that part of the total 
cut which was marketed. To obtain the total amount of timber cut in 
1909 the amount wasted in cutting and manufacturing must be added. 
The waste in manufacturing lumber includes slab and kerf — about 40 
per cent of each log — and the waste in the woods by tops, stumps, and 
culls, amounting to about one-fourth of all the timber marketed. This, 
with an estimated domestic consumption of 12,000,000 cubic feet for 
firewood, rails, and posts, makes a total cut for 1909 of about 59,000,000 
cubic feet. This is equivalent to a cut of nearly 19 cubic feet per acre 
over all the forest land of the region. 

Table 2.— Total Estimated Output op Wood Peoducts for 1909, by Counties.— Computed in 

Cubic Feet. 



Counties 


Total 
Output 


Lumber 


Chestnut 

Tanning 

Extract 

Wood 


Pulp- 
wood 


Tan- 
bark 


Ties 


Poles, 

Pins, 
Shingles 

and 
Miscel- 
laneous 
Products 




2,161,250 
49, 167 

481,327 
3,321,235 
1,271,505 
4, 206, 643 
6, 078, 780 
2, 578, 783 
1, 996, 708 
2,452.160 
1,314,323 

658, 666 
3,612,850 
1,389,750 

715.833 

403, 250 


800,083 
49, 167 

342,417 
1,422,250 

725, 167 
1,270,333 
1,714.250 

260, 583 

386, 833 
1, 161, 000 
1,128,750 

589, 333 
3,143,917 
1,340,750 

708,333 

355,250 


997,500 


175,750 


132,750 


30,000 


25, 167 


Clay 






94.050 

1,459.200 

268, 470 

1,238.705 

808, 450 

1, 715, 700 

1,281,075 

868,490 

55,290 


8.075 

194,035 

36.005 

1,380,065 

3,428.550 

418,000 

142,500 

101.175 

72,200 


24,885 
245. 700 
108, 630 
118.440 

82. 530 
117,000 
110, 700 
168,525 

50. 670 
9.000 

73,350 

45, 000 
4,500 

45,000 




11, 900 












133, 233 


Jackson 

Haywood... 


18,000 
21,000 
67, 500 
60,000 

108, 000 
4,800 
45,000 

111,000 


181, 100 
24, 000 


Henderson 


15, 600 
44, 970 




2,613 




15,333 


Mitchell 


198, 550 


19,000 


67,033 
4,000 










5.000 










3.000 












Totals . 


32, 692, 230 


15,396,416 


8,985,480 


5,975,405 


1,336,680 


465, 300 


532, 949 







It is estimated that uncared for hardwood forests, such as those in 
Western North Carolina, are growing at the rate of from 12 to 15 cubic 
feet per acre per year. Assuming even that the greater figure repre- 
sents the annual growth in this region, then the timber is being cut 
much faster than it is growing. This can not last indefinitely. Either 
the annual cut must be reduced to coincide with the growth, or else the 
growth must be made to keep pace with the demands upon it. The lat- 
ter is certainly the most economical and businesslike way of dealing 
with the problem. By protecting these forests from fire, and by encour- 
aging the more rapid-growing and more valuable species, the annual 
2 



North Carolina State Libroiy 
Raleigh 



18 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

yield of timber per acre can be largely increased in a comparatively 
short time. The large furniture and related industries in Piedmont 
North Carolina, which now draw the greater part of their timber sup- 
plies from the region in which they are situated, will depend more and 
more on the mountain forests. The demand for this material, aided by 
improved transportation facilities and methods of manufacture, should 
make it evident that the establishment of a maximum timber yield would 
constitute one of the most important contributions which the mountain 
counties could make toward the economic development of the State as 
a whole. 

FOREST DISTRIBUTION BY TYPES. 

The forests of Western North Carolina are a part of the great Appa- 
lachian hardwood region, which extends from southern New England to 
the mountainous portions of northern Georgia and Alabama. These 
forests differ from those of the central hardwood region, into which 
they gradually merge beyond the western border of this State, in their 
possession of several important species which do not grow beyond the 
mountains, or grow in very small quantities. Such species as chestnut, 
red oak, hemlock, and white pine form a large proportion of the Appa- 
lachian forests, and scarcely appear in those of the central hardwood 
region. 

There are two distinct classes of forests in this region; the spruce 
forest on the tops of the highest mountains, and the hardwood forest, 
either pure or associated with pine. On some mountain slopes hemlock 
grows in almost pure stands, and some old fields at the lower elevations 
have grown up to pure or mixed stands of pine; with these exceptions 
the hardwood stand covers the whole area. 

SPRUCE FOREST. 

The spruce forest grows only on the tops and upper slopes of the high 
mountains, and rarely below an average elevation of 5,500 feet. This 
forest is an extension of the great spruce forest of the North, which 
seeks increasingly higher altitudes as it extends south, and reaches its 
southern limit on the western shoulders of Clingman's Dome, a peak 
6,600 feet high, in Swain County. The largest spruce areas in this 
region, as will be seen by the map, occur in Swain, Jackson, Haywood, 
Yancey, and Mitchell counties. The distribution of the type is depend- 
ent not only upon elevation but also upon moisture conditions and to a 
large extent on protection from storms by the surrounding mountain 
peaks. The type extends down only a short distance on the southern 
slopes of even the highest mountains, but along northerly ridges and 
slopes it sometimes descends to 4,500 feet. 



N. C. GEOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC SURVEY. 



PLATE III. 




A. Mature spruce forest showing adequate reproduction. 




B. Mature spruce forest burnt over and destroyed twelve years ago. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 19 

The soil of this forest is a cold, black loam, usually with a sandy 
subsoil which varies in depth from a few inches to two feet, but is 
usually quite shallow. It always contains a large amount of humus 
from the gradual decay of fallen trees, twigs, and leaves. This duff 
supports a growth of moss and ferns, and in the open places a turf of 
grass. The principal shrubs of the type are highbush huckleberry, 
hobble bush, and, occasionally, the handsome fetter bush. Spruce and 
balsam in varying proportions form the chief tree growth. Mixed with 
these are usually a small percentage of yellow birch and scattered speci- 
mens of mountain ash, service berry, fire cherry, and mountain maple. 
These hardwoods, however, are rarely of merchantable size or quality. 
The proportion of spruce varies greatly from as much as 80 per cent of 
the stand in the southwestern counties to less than 50 per cent in the 
more northern counties. 

The stand of spruce and balsam averages from 15 to 25 thousand feet 
an acre over the whole area covered by this type, and many stands will 
cut from 40 to 50 thousand feet to the acre. Where this timber is being 
cut for pulp wood from 40 to 50 cords per acre is an average yield. 
Spruce varies in height from 40 to 50 feet on the ridges to 80 or 90 feet 
on the north slopes and in the heads of coves, where it attains a diam- 
eter of three feet. Balsam is smaller and is rarely more than two feet 
in diameter. 

In the mature forest reproduction is good, owing to the very favorable 
moisture conditions and the freedom from fire. In dense stands there is 
a larger percentage of balsam, but where the forest is more open spruce 
reproduction is favored. On areas that have been cut over and not 
burnt, the young growth which had started before cutting continues to 
thrive, and on many areas seedlings of both species have started since cut- 
ting. Unfortunately, no very heavy cuttings could be studied, since 
logging for pulp wood has been carried on for only two or three years. 
Both spruce and balsam need moist humus for successful reproduction, 
and where fire recurs after cutting neither of these species will be per- 
petuated. The abundant rainfall, which is heavier on these mountain 
tops than anywhere else in the State, assisted by the dense shade of these 
evergreen trees, affords an efficient fire protection for spruce forests while 
they remain largely in their natural state. But when the trees are re- 
moved, allowing the large amount of vegetable matter on the soil and the 
tree tops left in logging to become dry, fires burn through the remaining 
timber with disastrous results. The current belief is that it is impossible 
to keep fires out of this type after logging, and that then these forests 
will disappear. If fires can not be kept out, this will certainly be the 



20 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

case, and all this type, amounting to some 100,000 to 150,000 acres of 
splendid forest land will very rapidly become barren mountain tops. 
On certain areas that have already been cut and accidentally burned, 
grass has been sown, the owners claiming that the land will pay better 
in pasture than in timber. There are, however, only limited areas that 
are suitable for pasture, and most of the land is so steep and so rocky 
that once the dense forest cover is destroyed the soil will soon wash away 
and leave only the bare rocks. In the opinion of well-informed men, if 
this happens the land will eventually revert to the State for unpaid 
taxes. 

HARDWOOD FOREST. 

The hardwood forests, which occupy all but the highest peaks, vary 
considerably, according to soil, aspect, and elevation. They can be sepa- 
rated into four important types: plateau, chestnut, red oak, beech, and 
maple. 

Plateau Type. 

Along the valley of the French Broad, in Henderson, Buncombe, and 
Madison counties, below an elevation of approximately 2,500 feet, and 
in the southwestern half of Cherokee County, and on some smaller sim- 
ilar areas in several of the other counties, there is a type of forest very 
similar to that in the Piedmont section adjoining the base of the moun- 
tains. The greater part of this forest is composed of oak of several 
species, usually in mixture with shortleaf pine, or with pitch pine, scrub 
pine, and occasionally white pine. From one-half to two-thirds of the 
forest, however, is oak, and the principal species in order of abundance 
are: scarlet, black, Spanish, white, and post oak. In general, this type 
has been severely cut over, because of its accessibility, and, for the same 
reason, has often been severely burnt over. In consequence of these con- 
ditions there is little merchantable timber left. The mature oaks are 
fit for little besides firewood, since they are generally defective, the black 
and scarlet oaks are stagheaded and wormy, and the white oaks small, 
crooked, and knotty. The greater part of the merchantable timber in 
this type is shortleaf pine, which, on the dry slopes of the lower French 
Broad valley, may be as much as 80 per cent of the stand, and furnish a 
cut of three or four thousand board feet to the acre. More often, how- 
ever, this tree forms only from 2 to 5 per cent of the stand. The scarcity 
of chestnut constitutes the principal difference between this and the other 
types of hardwood forest. Chestnut was probably abundant at one 
time, but it is now rapidly dying out. Scattering red maple, black gum, 
sourwood, and two or three species of hickory are present, but are rarely 
merchantable for anything but firewood. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 21 

Sprout reproduction is abundant and makes up the greater part of 
the undergrowth, but consists chiefly of inferior species. Where fire 
has been kept out for many years, white oaks are more in evidence, with 
occasional yellow poplar. 

On many of the dry, rocky slopes above the large streams which break 
through the Unaka Mountains, such as the French Broad, the Doe 
River, Toe River, and the ISTolichucky, the pines predominate, and there 
is an apparent gradation into an almost pure pine type. In such situa- 
tions pitch pine and shortleaf are of almost equal importance, with 
scrub pine on the lower slopes and Table Mountain pine on the higher 
ridges. These slopes and ridges will never be worth anything except 
for growing timber, and some slopes are so rough that it is even im- 
practicable to log them. These dry slopes have suffered greatly from 
fire. There are many areas, both in old fields and in cut over forest, in 
which white pine forms a large proportion of the stand. On all such 
areas it is the most valuable tree that can be grown. 

Chestnut Type. 

On practically all situations between 2,500 and 4,000 feet elevation 
and in many cases above and below these limits chestnut predominates 
and forms from 30 to 40 and often as much as 75 per cent of the forest. 
The proportion, size, and merchantable value of this species vary with 
the situation, which gives rise to three sub-types ; ridge, slope, and cove, 
with several minor variations. 

Ridge. — Along practically all the ridges and extending the greater 
part of the way down the southerly slopes chestnut forms from 25 to 50 
per cent of the stand, and chestnut oak is about as abundant; and to- 
gether these two species usually make up 75 per cent of the stand. Scar- 
let oak, black gum, shortleaf pine, and pitch pine occur in this type more 
than in any other, though there is rarely more than a small proportion 
of each. The height growth of the trees is less and the quality of the 
timber is inferior to that growing in the other sub-types. The trees vary 
from 40 to 50 feet in height and are short-boled, crooked, and fire- 
scarred. The open nature of the forest and the consequent exposure to 
the sun make it dry out readily and become an easy prey to fire. As 
a result, reproduction is poor, and generally confined to damaged sprouts 
of oaks and chestnut. 

Slope. — This type comprises all forests on the northerly exposures 
from the east to the west slopes and, on the higher mountains, it extends 
around onto the south slopes. The soil is usually moist and is more fer- 
tile than that on the ridges, and the trees are consequently taller and 
contain more merchantable timber. Chestnut is still the most important 



22 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

tree, and forms from 30 to 50 per cent of the forest. Eed oak, white oak, 
linn, hickory, chestnut oak, buckeye, ash, and other valuable hardwoods, 
with a little yellow poplar in the lower part of the sub-type, form the 
remainder. On the upper north slopes, at the higher elevations, there is 
occasionally a considerable mixture of hemlock, accompanied by a dense 
undergrowth of laurel and doghobble. On the lower ridges, mountain 
ivy occasionally makes the woods almost impenetrable. 

Cove. — The mountain coves have always contained the heaviest and 
most valuable timber. Yet many have been cleared for agriculture, and 
most of them have been culled of their best trees. The soil of the coves 
is usually rich and moist. Though chestnut is still the most abundant 
tree, yellow poplar is the more valuable. It is typically a cove tree, and 
averages from 80 to 100 feet in height with long, straight boles that pro- 
duce a large proportion of high grade lumber. In estimating timber it 
was formerly a common practice to include only that in the coves, since 
it was claimed that the timber outside of these situations would scarcely 
more than pay for the logging. Because of the moisture, fire is much 
less frequent in the coves than on ridges and slopes, and reproduction is 
much more abundant, with a larger proportion of the more valuable 
species. 

Red Oak Type. 

Above the 4,000 foot contour and even extending up to the spruce 
forest, especially on the northerly slopes, red oak is likely to be the most 
important tree. Owing to the altitude, however, and to its exposure 
to high winds, the tree does not usually contain a large amount of mer- 
chantable timber, and, as such situations are very difficult to log, this 
forest is not now of any great value. Mixed with the red oak are 
chestnut, chestnut oak, sugar maple, buckeye, and linn given in the order 
of their importance. 

Beech and Maple Type. 

At the higher elevations just below and often extending up into the 
spruce type, as well as on mountain tops where spruce does not occur, 
there are areas of almost pure beech or beech mixed with sugar maple. 
In the southern part of the region the trees are of little commercial 
value, being dwarfed and crooked; but in the northern part this type 
contains some very good timber, — not so much of the beech and maple, 
but of the species that are mixed with them, — buckeye, linn, cucumber, 
chestnut, ash, and cherry. The ground is usually moist and covered 
with moss and ferns. The reproduction is chiefly seedlings of sugar 
maple and ash, with thrifty sprouts of linn and chestnut. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 23 

FOREST DISTRIBUTION BY SPECIES.* 

Chestnut. 

Chestnut is typical of the region and grows almost everywhere, form- 
ing 28 per cent of the total forest area. It is not numerically impor- 
tant, however, on the plateau lands of the French Broad River, and in 
western Cherokee County. It is the most important commercial tree, 
because of its rapid growth, its wide distribution, and its high market 
value for poles and extract wood at a comparatively early age. Much 
of it has been so seriously injured by fire and insects, however, that 
probably not more than from 25 to 40 per cent of that now standing 
is suitable for lumber. The recent establishment of large tanning ex- 
tract plants has relieved this situation somewhat by creating a market 
for low grade wood, a large amount of which is now being cut wherever 
it is accessible. 

Bed Oaks. 

Red Oak. — Red oak, because of its wide distribution, becomes the 
most valuable oak in this region, and, though it seldom occurs below 
2,800 feet, it now furnishes the greater part of the oak lumber. Its 
favorite habitat is moist north slopes and the coves, its numerical im- 
portance increasing with the increase in altitude, till on some of the 
slopes and crests of the mountains above 4,000 feet, it forms 50 per 
cent or more of the forest over considerable areas. It is commonly 
known here as water oak. It attains a very large size and furnishes 
lumber equal in appearance, and nearly equal in price, to white oak. 
Its young growth is nowhere abundant, as it is easily killed by fire, 
and hogs help to keep it in check by devouring the acorns. It is the 
most rapid growing of any of the oaks, and should be encouraged in 
every way possible, particularly by keeping these two enemies out, when 
it will reproduce itself readily. 

Black Oak. — Black oak, the lumber of which is often marketed as 
red oak, ranks second among the so-called red oaks. This tree is found 
throughout all of the types, but decreases in proportion in the stand as 
the elevation increases. In the pleateau types in Cherokee County and 
in the French Broad valley it is probably the most important oak and 
forms a considerable part of the local cut; but in these situations it is 
of poor quality, often wormy and rotten. It attains its best develop- 
ment and quality in the lower coves and richer slopes. The recent de- 
mand for tanbark from this species has increased its value. Its re- 
production is good and its growth rapid, especially that of the sprouts 

' 

The species are given in the order of their abundance in the region. See Table 1. 



24 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

from the stumps of the smaller trees, and it should therefore become 
one of the most valuable trees, as it is already one of the most abund- 
ant, in the more favorable situations. 

Scarlet Oak. — Scarlet oak is perhaps more abundant than black oak 
in the pleateau type but is less so in all other situations. This oak, 
usually called Spanish oak and occasionally spotted oak throughout the 
mountains, is the most abundant tree in the extreme northeastern coun- 
ties of the region, often forming as much as 20 per cent of the forest 
and from 40 to 50 per cent of the young growth. It grows rapidly 
when young, and the smaller, quick-growing trees make a good quality 
of lumber ; the old specimens, however, are likely to be wormy or other- 
wise defective, and it is therefore not a desirable lumber tree. Sprouts 
of scarlet oak are quite resistant to fire, and they can well be encour- 
aged until more desirable species come in. 

Spanish Oak. — Spanish oak, known as red oak throughout the Pied- 
mont region, and to some extent in the mountains, is nowhere abund- 
ant. It is distributed chiefly through the plateau type, and but rarely 
ascends into the chestnut type. The timber is cut for lumber along 
with other red oaks, and among these is second only to red oak in quality. 
Sprouts of this tree are resistant to fire, and form a considerable part of 
the young growth on the dry hills and slopes in the plateau type. 

Blackjack Oak. — Blackjack oak occurs on the dryest and poorest sit- 
uations at lower elevations, principally in the plateau type. This tree 
rarely attains a size large enough for saw timber even under the most 
favorable conditions. The presence of blackjack is usually considered 
an indication of poor soil. 

White Oaks. 

White Oak. — White oak occurs all over the region, but is more im- 
portant at the lower elevations. Throughout both the plateau type 
and the chestnut type up to 4,000 feet in elevation, this tree forms an 
important part of the forest, attaining its best development, however, 
in the rich coves, especially those with a more or less southerly aspect. 
Though forming as little as 1 per cent of the forest in the rougher 
parts of the more western counties, it may form as much as 35 per cent 
of the merchantable forest over several contiguous watersheds. In 
Transylvania County, in fact, as much as two-thirds of the timber is 
white oak and post oak combined. While the quality of the white oak 
timber now standing is inferior to that which for years has been cut 
for staves, there is still much of good quality scattered through the 
mountains. At present this tree is used chiefly for lumber, though re- 
cently the bark has come into the market for tanning, but owing to its 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 25 

thinness and its low price, little is being peeled. Seedlings and sprouts 
of white oak are very sensitive to fire and unless the forests can be pro- 
tected from this scourge, the black oaks will replace it in future stands. 
Though it is slow growing, it should be encouraged on favorable areas. 
Because of its special value for staves, prices will no doubt increase 
enough to justify growing it for this use. 

Post Oak. — Post oak is common on certain areas in the plateau type, 
but it is nowhere important. It is used for rough saw timber and in 
some cases for posts, though locust is preferred. This tree grows slowly 
and its reprpduction is nowhere good, so that only on dry, poor ridges 
should it be encouraged. 

Yellow Poplar. 

Yellow poplar grows in the coves and lower slopes all through the 
mountain region, though nowhere forming more than 15 per cent 
of the forest. It is rarely found above an altitude of 3,500 feet, at or 
near which elevation it attains its best development. Practically all of 
the stands, however, have been severely culled, so that it constitutes, 
on an average, not more than 8 per cent of the forest. The best 
timber now remaining is in the most inaccessible situations, Graham, 
Clay, and Swain counties probably containing the best. Seedlings of 
yellow poplar are very sensitive to fire, but where fire is kept out repro- 
duction is abundant, especially where plenty of light has been let in by 
logging. Tree for tree, yellow poplar is more valuable than chestnut, 
but its distribution is more limited. It is a rapid grower when young, 
and finds a ready market for pulp even as a small tree. Its use for pulp 
should not be encouraged, if it is growing under conditions which favor 
its attaining saw timber size. 

Hemlock. 

Though forming more than 7 per cent of the entire stand of this 
region, hemlock is much more restricted in its distribution than the 
abundant hardwood species. It grows chiefly on the higher slopes 
and north coves of the mountains, especially above 3,500 feet, though 
extending in scattered trees along the streams down through the chest- 
nut slope type. On the cold, north "benches," and in the moist coves 
and bottoms where it often forms from 35 to 50 per cent of the stand 
over considerable areas, it constitutes a distinctive sub-type. In such 
situations the trees grow to a large size and produce a good quality of 
lumber, though large old trees in situations exposed to the wind are apt 
to be windshaken. Stands of 10,000 or 12,000 feet to the acre are not 
uncommon. Because of the demand for hemlock bark for tanning pur- 



26 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

poses, much of this timber was cut years ago, but since hemlock lumber 
brought a very low price at that time only the bark was used, the 
wood being left on the ground to rot. This practice is now abandoned, 
and even reversed, since the timber is now utilized, while the bark is 
often wasted. Young hemlock cannot stand fire, and comes in on only 
moist soil with a cover of humus, so that where the forest is burned 
hemlock is exterminated. Many of the areas on which hemlock now 
stands will be used for agriculture; others will grow more valuable 
trees, such as yellow poplar, linn, and ash, so that hemlock will decrease 
in the future mountain forest. 

Chestnut Oak. 

This oak, which belongs to the white oak group, is one of the most 
widely distributed and generally important oaks of the region. Its 
lumber is far inferior to that of the red oak, but its bark, which is 
used for tanning purposes, greatly increases the value of the stumpage. 
Chestnut oak forms a smaller proportion of the forest than red oak, 
and has a smaller individual development. It is reproduced chiefly by 
sprouts; its acorns are abundant enough, but are largely destroyed by 
hogs and by fire. 

Maple. 

Sugar Maple. — Sugar maple grows chiefly on the moist slopes of the 
higher elevations, but is nowhere important. Sometimes, on restricted 
areas, it forms 15 per cent of the stand; over larger areas it seldom 
forms more than 3 or 4 per cent of the forest, yet local saw mills occa- 
sionally cut as much as 10 per cent maple. In the northeastern coun- 
ties there has been some production of maple sugar, though the indus- 
try has practically died out. Sugar maple reproduces abundantly from 
seed where fires are kept out, but it is of so much less value than other 
trees that it need not be encouraged. 

Red Maple. — Eed maple is scattered in very small groups or as single 
trees through all types, but is of such poor quality and inferior value 
that it is unimportant. Sprouts and seedlings are abundant, and, 
owing to their vitality, form a large portion of the young growth where 
fires kill off other trees. 

Basswood. 

In the coves and on northerly slopes basswood, or linn, as it is gener- 
ally called, is scattered as single trees or in clumps rising from the same 
root. Though nowhere forming a large proportion of the forest, it is 
yet abundant enough to constitute more than 2 per cent of the entire 
stand. Two species are common, the white and the American, the latter 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 27 

perhaps slightly more extended in its general range. The species are 
not distinguished commercially, and, as there is practically no differ- 
ence in the timber or the rate of growth, they can well be classed to- 
gether. The timber is usually of good quality, but forms such a small 
part of the cut of the local mills, that favorable prices are secured 
only by the larger operators and dealers. After logging linn reproduces 
chiefly by sprouts which grow rapidly, but are generally destroyed by 
cattle, which should always be excluded from areas of young growth 
till the shoots have grown out of their reach. Fire is not a serious 
menace where linn flourishes. This is a valuable and important tree in 
the situations to which it is best adapted. 

Hickory. 

Several species of hickory grow throughout the region; pignut on 
the higher and poorer situations; mockernut, or white hickory in the 
lower coves and richer slopes; bitternut, or red hickory, in the moister 
situations along the streams ; other species are only occasional. Hickory 
is nowhere abundant, but sometimes forms from 5 to 10 per cent of the 
stand on restricted areas; taking the area as a whole, however, only 2 
per cent of the forest is hickory. While more common on the lower 
slopes, this tree ascends all through the chestnut ridge type, but is so 
scattered that it has had mainly a local utilization for axe handles and 
firewood. Reproduction of hickory is fairly good nearly everywhere, 
and the insistent and increasing demand for second growth hickory 
justifies its encouragement in every possible way. 

Yellow Pine. 

Four species are included under this blanket term, though shortleaf is 
by far the most important and abundant. 

Shortleaf Pine. — Shortleaf pine occurs at the lower elevations and 
through the plateau type, and along the dry ridges and south slopes of 
the chestnut type, where it often forms a large proportion of the forest. 
It comes in on abandoned fields in the plateau type, where it has its 
greatest value, though with proper encouragement it may form an im- 
portant part of second growth forests wherever it thrives. 

Pitch Pine. — Pitch pine grows on situations that favor shortleaf and 
is usually mixed with it, but is decidedly inferior in rate of growth and 
in quality, and shortleaf should always be favored. 

Scrub Pine. — Scrub pine occurs only at the lower elevations and is 
so much inferior to shortleaf that it should not be encouraged. 



28 FOEEST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

Table Mountain Pine. — Table mountain pine grows only on the dry- 
tops of the higher ridges and is of no great importance, though it is 
occasionally cut for lumber in the Unaka Mountains along with short- 
leaf and pitch pine. 

White Pine. 

White pine occurs chiefly along both slopes of the Blue Ridge, and 
along the valleys of the French Broad, Pigeon, Tennessee, and Hiawas- 
see rivers. While it may extend to the top of the Blue Ridge it is 
rare above an altitude of 3,500 feet. There are pure stands in small 
groves, but it is usually mixed with hardwoods, and may form, over 
considerable areas, from 10 to 15 per cent of the stand. The mature 
trees are tall, and usually stand out prominently above the surround- 
ing hardwoods. The timber is much sought after, and, except in 
remote places, the best trees have been culled out, and it is now being 
cut and transported by wagon or flume, from twenty to thirty miles to 
the railroad. 

White pine reproduces well in old fields and unburned woods, and 
in favorable situations young trees grow very rapidly, often making an 
annual height growth of two feet. On both sides of the Blue Ridge, 
and in most situations in the plateau type, this tree is of first import- 
ance. In the reforesting of cutover and waste lands, seed trees of white 
pine should be reserved. 

Red Spruce. 

Red spruce, known locally as "he balsam," is confined almost entirely 
to the spruce forest of the higher mountains, though a few straggling 
trees descend into the hardwood forest below. In the richer situations 
on comparatively level ridges and more gentle slopes, it attains a con- 
siderable size, and specimens 3 to 4 feet in diameter and 90 feet in 
height are not uncommon. On the poorer, exposed situations, however, 
mature trees are from 6 to 18 inches in diameter and from 30 to 60 
feet in height. This tree almost always occurs mixed with balsam, the 
two forming 95 per cent of the stand of the spruce type, where spruce 
alone furnishes from 50 to 80 per cent and averages about 60 per cent. 
Spruce is being used chiefly for pulp wood, though lumber is cut in 
several places, and in one county spruce is used in a small way for the 
manufacture of doors and blinds. 

Spruce reproduces well where moisture is abundant and where the 
forest is open. One area in Yancey County, where the old trees had 
been killed by disease, has almost perfect spruce reproduction, but un- 
fortunately this condition is rare, and the greater part of the new 
growth under the old trees in the spruce forest is of balsam. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 29 

Beech. 

Beech grows chiefly on cold northern slopes and coves in the higher 
altitudes, but occurs as scattered trees along the streams throughout the 
mountains. There are occasional pure stands just below the spruce 
forests, but there it is small and unmerchantable. It is cut to some 
extent from the chestnut type, where it rarely exceeds 2 or 3 per cent 
of the forest. In the beech and maple type, however, this tree forms 
20 to 30 per cent of the stand, and is of large size and good quality; 
yet owing to its limited amount, its great weight, and its remoteness 
from transportation, it is not valued very highly. Other trees, such as 
linn, ash, yellow poplar, and red oak, should be encouraged to take its 
place in the second growth forest. 

Ash. 

White ash is found throughout the region, though the greater part of 
it has been cut, except in remote situations. The best ash is in the 
remote coves of Graham, Swain, Haywood, Yancey, and Mitchell coun- 
ties. The tree has a range similar to that of yellow poplar, though 
somewhat more restricted, in coves between 3,000 and 4,500 feet eleva- 
tion. The greater part of the cut is shipped out of the State. Where 
the woods are not burned, and seed trees are present, natural reproduc- 
tion is usually abundant. Owing to its value and comparatively rapid 
growth it should be encouraged. 

Buckeye. 

Yellow or sweet buckeye occurs throughout the higher coves and 
north slopes of the chestnut type, and even extends up into the spruce 
type. It rarely constitutes more than 2 per cent of the forest where 
it occurs, but occasionally forms as much as 10 per cent over restricted 
areas. Buckeye is a soft, white wood, for which there is no great de- 
mand, though it usually forms a small portion of the cut in most of 
the larger mills. Buckeye grows slowly when young, and linn, red oak, 
poplar, and cucumber, which flourish in the same situations, should be 
given preference. 

Birch. 

Two species of birch grow in the coves and on the slopes of the higher 
mountains, and of these, sweet or black birch, or mountain mahogany, 
as it is often called, is the more valuable. This birch forms a small 
part of most forests above 3,000 feet, though it rarely exceeds 1 or 2 
per cent of the forest except in the higher elevations. Yellow birch 
is confined to cold northern slopes, chiefly above 4,000 feet. On such 



30 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

situations, and extending up into the spruce type these two birches are 
together, and often classed as one species. Here they form from 5 to 
20 per cent of the forest, hut are crooked and defective. They repro- 
duce well and form from 25 to 50 per cent of the young stands on old 
burns or windfalls in the higher mountains. The sweet birch is a good 
tree for such situations and should be encouraged. Another species, 
the river birch, grows along streams in the plateau type. It is of little 
value, and is rarely used for anything except firewood. 

Balsam. 

Frazer's balsam or "she balsam," as it is called locally, is mixed with 
spruce in proportions varying from 15 to 50 per cent of the stand. 
Though this tree makes a somewhat more rapid growth than the spruce, 
when young, it does not attain as large a size, a tree 2 feet in diameter 
being exceptional. Balsam has been little used for lumber in North 
Carolina even where lumbering operations have been carried on; it is, 
however, now being used with spruce for pulp wood, the two being cut 
indiscriminately. Balsam reproduces better than spruce, and in most 
second growth stands young balsam predominates. Spruce is more 
abundant in the old stands simply because it is a longer-lived tree. 

Cucumber. 

Several species of magnolia are locally known as cucumber, but 
among lumbermen this name is generally applied to but one species, 
Magnolia acuminata. This tree grows to a large size in the rich coves 
and slopes of the chestnut type, though its commercial distribution is 
confined to the more remote parts of Graham, Swain, Macon, and Hay- 
wood counties. Over considerable areas in Graham County it forms 
as much as from 8 to 10 per cent of the entire stand. The value of 
cucumber lumber is second only to that of poplar, with which it is 
generally sold. Its comparative rarity prevents any general demand 
for it under its own name. Seedlings of this species are scarce even 
where seed trees occur, though where areas are protected from fire it 
comes in rapidly in the second growth, both as sprouts and as seedlings. 
One other species of magnolia grows throughout the higher mountains, 
the mountain magnolia or Frazer umbrella-tree. This tree rarely at- 
tains sufficient size to make merchantable lumber, though it is occa- 
sionally cut by some of the large mills. 

Black Gum. 

Black gum grows in scattered stands throughout the plateau type, 
and on the ridges and lower slopes of the chestnut type. It is so often 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 31 

hollow that it has a local use for "bee gums." This tree forms a small 
part of the cut of some of the larger mills, but the lumber is inferior, 
and warps badly unless carefully handled. In burned over forests of 
the plateau type black gum forms a large part of the young growth, 
but where fires are kept out the proportion is much less, because it is 
supplanted by better trees. 

Sweet Gum. — Sweet gum is limited to small areas in the plateau type 
in the western part of Cherokee County. Here it is useful to reforest 
abandoned fields, and should be encouraged. 

Cherry. 

Black cherry was at one time scattered through most of the mountain 
forest, but now little of it is left except in the most remote regions. 
This tree attains its best development in the rich coves and "benches" 
of the higher mountains above 3,500 feet elevation. At present the 
finest cherry timber is in the western part of Graham County, where 
near the top of the Unaka Mountains it forms as much as 2 per cent 
of the forest over a large area. The timber is of great value for in- 
terior finish, and is greatly sought after by lumbermen and dealers. 
Owing to its slow growth, to its exacting demands on soil, moisture, and 
situation, and to its intolerance, the reproduction of cherry is unsatis- 
factory. Wherever it succeeds well, it should be encouraged, though it 
may not pay as well as many of the faster growing and less exacting 
species. Another species, the red or bird cherry, is found in the higher 
mountains mixed with hemlock and to a limited extent with the spruce. 
It is small, short-lived, and of no commercial value. 

Miscellaneous Hardwood Species. 

Several other species are cut to fill special demands and are of con- 
siderable value both in the present and future forest, though because 
they grow in limited quantity they might be considered as comparatively 
unimportant. 

Black Walnut. — Black walnut was at one time abundant, though lit- 
tle is now left. It prefers the Piedmont region, and the rich, deep 
coves, and the lower slopes of the chestnut type below 3,000 feet in 
elevation. Where it is still standing it has been left with the idea of 
profiting by its increased value. Yet its value has not appreciably in- 
creased in the past 20 years. 

Butternut. — Butternut, usually called white walnut in the south, is 
scattered through the rich, rocky coves, at higher elevations than black 
walnut. Where it attains merchantable size, it is cut for lumber, and 
sold for much the same purposes as black walnut, but at a lower price. 



OZ FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

Black Locust. — Black locust grows almost everywhere below 3,500 feet, 
but chiefly in the rich coves and slopes. Little merchantable locust is 
now standing, except on areas where the timber is being preserved, as 
this tree has been exploited for many years, first for ship building and 
later for insulator pins. At the present time its chief use is for fence 
posts. Eeproduction of locust is comparatively rare through the forest, 
but it comes up readily in old fields on the lower slopes of the chestnut 
type, where it grows very rapidly. 

Dogwood. — Dogwood grows all through the region, but more espe- 
cially in the plateau type and the lower elevations of the chestnut type, 
though it is nowhere abundant. Where it could be reached readily by 
road or railroad, it has been cut for shuttle blocks. Dogwood is a very 
slow though persistent grower, and will be of little value in the future 
forest. 

Silverbell. — Silverbell, known through the mountains as box elder, 
bellwood, or tisswood, is of merchantable size only on the higher slopes, 
mixed with hemlock, yellow birch, and sugar maple. It is cut by a few 
of the larger mills. It extends into the plateau type along the larger 
streams, but does not there attain merchantable size. 

Holly. — Holly grows along the rich bottoms close to the streams in 
the deep valleys of the higher mountains, where it occasionally attains 
a size of from 1 to 1 1-2 feet in diameter. Owing to its inaccessibility 
and the small amount obtainable, it is seldom cut into lumber, which 
usually can be disposed of only by special orders. 

Sycamore.— Sycamoie is limited to rich bottoms and along the 
streams, mostly at lower elevations. In favorable soil it attains a very 
large size, and is cut to some extent for lumber. It is used locally and 
in furniture manufacture. 

FOREST AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS BY COUNTIES. 

The forest and economic conditions of the various counties differ 
according to physiographic features and to transportation facilities. 
A brief description of these conditions is given so that the recommenda- 
tion for proper forest management may be made more specific and 
definite. 

CHEROKEE COUNTY. 

Cherokee, the most western county, has an area, of approximately 
288,000 acres. All but the southernmost part is drained by the Hia- 
wassee River, which crosses the center of the county from east to west. 
The topography is very rugged, the range in elevation being about 4,000 
feet ; and except along the valley bottoms the country is not well adapted 



FOEEST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 33 

to agriculture. The most mountainous and inaccessible parts of the 
county lie along its northern and eastern borders. 

The Southern Railway and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, 
both terminating at Murphy, are the principal transportation lines. 
In addition to these a logging road runs from Andrews across the Snow- 
bird Mountains into Graham County, and a Tennessee lumber company 
is planning to extend its narrow gauge logging railroad in to the virgin 
timber of the Tellico River region. The roads are rough, poorly graded, 
and poorly drained. Several miles of road running out of Andrews 
have been macadamized, however, and Murphy Township is macadam- 
izing its roads. 

The land is held chiefly in small holdings, and scarcely one-fourth 
is made up of tracts of 1,000 acres or more. 

The only body of virgin timber is in the Unaka and Snowbird Moun- 
tains at the headwaters of the Tellico River, where there are nearly 
10,000 acres on which the timber averages about 8,000 board feet per 
acre. Elsewhere the heavily culled forest averages scarcely more than 
1,500 feet per acre, and consists of comparatively poor and defective 
timber. Below 2,500 feet considerable shortleaf pine is scattered over 
the area, associated chiefly with post and other oaks, and gums. Red 
oak and chestnut, on the other hand, are more common at the higher 
elevations. 

Yearly fires keep the young growth down and ruin much of the old 
timber. Grazing is unrestricted and range burning is common. Along 
the western border of the county many trees have been injured or killed 
by the sulphur fumes from the copper smelters of Ducktown, Tenn. In 
the past this smoke nuisance was much worse than now, but it is being 
remedied. 

About 20 per cent of the county has been cleared for agriculture, but 
much of the land proved too steep for successful farming, and has been 
abandoned to forest. About one-fourth of this cleared land has thus 
come up to young stands of yellow poplar or shortleaf pine. It is prob- 
able that still another fourth is too steep for cultivation and should 
be allowed to revert. This would afford needed protection from soil 
washing, and at the same time put the land to its best use. Though the 
average farm is not very fertile, there are some very rich lands along 
the Valley River, which range in value from $50 to $100 an acre. 

Lumbering is growing less important with the diminishing supply of 

timber. Wagon hauls of from 15 to 25 miles are often necessary to 

deliver poplar at the railroad. Other forest industries are represented by 

a large tannery at Andrews and a furniture factory and planing mill at 

3 



34 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

Murphy. These get their material chiefly within the county. A great 
deal of pulp wood and chestnut extract wood is shipped out of the 
county. 

Cherokee must, of necessity, remain chiefly a forest producing county ; 
and the chief need of the forests is protection from fire and from in- 
discriminate grazing. This protection could hest be attained through 
a paid fire warden system, together with the adoption of the stock law, 
which would aid in removing the principal incentive in burning the 
woods. With these problems solved, intensive methods of forestry, so 
much needed, would become possible. 

CLAY COUNTY. 

Clay, with an area of less than 120,000 acres, is one of the smallest 
counties in the State. The topography is rough and the elevations high, 
ranging from 1,700 to 5,300 feet. The ridges are narrow and average ap- 
proximately 2,000 feet above the main valleys. The upper slopes are 
precipitous and boulder-strewn, with a thin and rocky soil, while lower 
down the slopes become less rugged, and the soil is deeper, and in the 
valleys there is a deep alluvial sandy or loamy clay soil. 

The Hiawassee River and its tributaries, Tusquitee and Shooting 
Creeks, form the principal drainage system. The Nantahala River 
forms part of the northern border of the county; and the Tallulah, a 
tributary of the Savannah, rises in the mountains of the Blue Ridge 
and passes out of the county across its southern border. 

Hayesville, the county seat, in the Hiawassee valley, is some 17 miles 
distant from Murphy, the nearest railroad station. 

In the western portion of the county about 25 per cent of the land 
has been cleared, of which 10 per cent is now in pasture or reverting to 
forest. This is the principal agricultural section of the county; corn 
and hay are grown for home consumption. Hogs, goats, sheep, and 
cattle, are raised, but the industry is not large. In the northern and 
eastern portions of the county, not more than 10 per cent of the land, 
is cleared, and the remainder is covered with the original forest growth. 
This part of the county is owned mostly in large tracts by lumbermen 
and others, more than one-third of the county being thus held. 

The roads, it must be confessed, are very poor, and this fact, cou- 
pled with the long haul to a railroad, limits lumbering to four portable 
mills. Only the better quality of poplar, oak, and chestnut, which 
can be sawed into first class lumber, is cut. The long haul practically 
prohibits the cutting of ties, bark, acid wood, or pulp wood east of 
Hayesville. Some eight or ten years ago a company cut out a large 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 35 

amount of poplar in the vicinity of Fires' Creek and attempted to float 
the logs to Murphy, but this was not a financial success. 

The forests in the southwestern portion of the county have been culled 
several times for rails, ties, bark, and lumber; the present stand con- 
sists of over-mature, stag-headed, and defective trees scattered through 
a second growth of black oaks, white oaks, poplar, chestnut, ash, and 
hickory. Those of the northern and eastern portion of the county still 
retain most of the original stand, except along the streams and lower 
slopes, where the best timber has been removed for local use. 

On the ridges, where the soil is thin and rocky, chestnut and the oaks 
predominate, with occasional yellow pine. In such situations the trees 
are scrubby and their growth is slow, but on the benches near the heads 
of streams, the trees are tall, with long, clear trunks. Here the chief 
species are chestnut, poplar, the oaks, linn, ash, and hickory, with hem- 
lock scattered on the damp north slopes or along the streams. This type 
contains some of the best timber, and it is not unusual for it to run 
10,000 to 15,000 feet to the acre over limited areas. The largest timber 
is in the vicinity of Sugar Cove and at the head of Fires' Creek. Most of 
the virgin stands are in bad condition, however, the trees being over' 
mature and fire scarred, and the ground strewn with windfalls and 
old logs. There is not enough grazing to injure the forest materially, 
except where young growth is coming in. 

Throughout the northern and eastern portions of the county fires are 
common, and it has been estimated that 50 per cent of the land is 
burned over every year. Fires are set by men who believe that they 
will improve the range, or by nut gatherers, or even by malicious per- 
sons. The damage to mature stands is very evident on the ridges, 
where probably half of the trees are fire injured, especially the chestnut. 

The amount of reproduction, the ground cover, and the general good 
of the forest depend upon freedom from fire. Where fires run over an 
area every year reproduction is poor or lacking, and the soil is exposed to 
washing because the leaf cover has been destroyed. On the other hand, 
where fires have been kept out, dense stands of young trees are present, 
and the soil is deep and well protected by a thick cover of leaves and 
litter. 

A healthy sentiment is growing throughout the county in favor of 
putting a stop to the wholesale firing of the forest. People are begin- 
ning to realize the damage that is done, and good results are already in 
evidence. One tract of some 15,000 acres in the Tusquitee Mountains 
has not had a fire on it for three years, and this is due not so much to 
the fact that the tract has been posted, but to the fact that the people 
in the neighborhood are opposed to fires. 



36 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 



GRAHAM COUNTY. 



Graham County, with an approximate area of 193,000 acres, borders 
on the Tennessee line. It is extremely mountainous, with several peaks 
over 5,500 feet in elevation, and shows an altitudinal range of about 
4,000 feet. The Cheoah Eiver and a few smaller streams drain the entire 
county, and empty into the Little Tennessee Eiver which forms the 
northern border. The soil of the narrow valley bottoms is quite fertile, 
though restricted in extent. The most rugged and inaccessible part of 
the county is the western half, occupied principally by the Snowbird 
and Unaka Mountains. Only 10 per cent of the county is cleared and 
scarcely four-fifths of this is true agricultural land. 

Two-thirds of the county is owned in tracts of a thousand acres or 
over, principally by lumber interests, and one company alone controls 
about a third. The water powers of the Cheoah and Tennessee Bivers, 
of great potential value, are now controlled by power companies. 

The western third of Graham County, of which not more than 2 per 
cent is cleared, contains a large amount of valuable hardwood timber, 
where less than 10 per cent is cut over or culled. Much of this area 
averages more than 10,000 feet per acre of oak, poplar, cherry, ash, 
chestnut, and hemlock. . 

A branch of the Southern Eailway now skirts the northern boundary, 
running down the Little Tennessee Eiver in Swain County. A branch 
line may be built soon to go up the Cheoah Eiver ; this will put a large 
area of virgin timber within reach of the markets. 

Here, as elsewhere, the former practice of splashing and driving has 
been superseded by the use of logging railroads. Fifteen years ago an 
attempt was made to exploit poplar timber by splash dams on Little 
Snowbird, West Buffalo, and Big Santeetlah Creeks, but the loss was 
too heavy for even that excessively wasteful period of lumbering, and 
the attempt was abandoned. Along the Little Tennessee Eiver, how- 
ever, much timber has been floated out and a considerable part of the 
adjoining forest has been culled of much of its best floatable timber. 
Two narrow-gauge logging roads now enter the county, one of them 
crossing the county line at an elevation of between 3,200 and 3,300 feet 
above sea level. 

Lumbering is the chief industry, with an annual cut of no less than 
15,000,000 board feet. Most of the county is too remote from the rail- 
road to make the cutting and sale of tanbark and cordwood profitable, 
though one company states that from 8 to 10 cords per acre of extract 
wood are left after heavy logging. Farming is of importance in the 
valleys and is usually carried on in connection with stock raising. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 37 

Stock is allowed to roam at large, and in consequence the mountain for- 
ests suffer from fires which are set with the false idea that they improve 
the range. There is, however, a growing sentiment against this destruc- 
tive practice. 

This mountainous county, largely made up of absolute forest land, 
must depend in great part upon its forests as a source of revenue. This 
being the case, fire protection and improved forest management are of 
vital importance, not only to the community as a whole but to the lum- 
ber companies whose timber holdings will usually be retained after being 
cut over. With an efficient fire warden system, toward the maintenance 
of which the lumber companies should contribute, the perpetuation of 
the forests ought to be assured. 

SWAIN COUNTY. 

Swain is the second largest county of the region, and contains some 
358,000 acres of land, 60 per cent of which is held in large blocks by 
speculators and lumbermen. Its northern border extends 50 or 60 
miles along the top of the main ridge of the Smoky Mountains; its 
southern border is formed by the Little Tennessee River, which sep- 
arates this county from Graham. The general elevation of the Smoky 
Mountains is over 4,500 feet. The highest point in the main range is 
at Clingman's Dome, which has an elevation of 6,600 feet, while there 
are several other peaks more than 5,500 feet in height. The county is 
drained by many swift mountain streams, which flow into the Little 
Tennessee and its two main tributaries, the Tuckaseigee and Nantahala 
Rivers. These streams come together near Bushnell, in one of the wild- 
est and most picturesque parts of the mountains that are penetrated by 
a railroad. 

The topography of nearly the whole county is rough and rugged, the 
slopes of the ridges being steep, rocky, and often precipitous. The 
valleys for the most part are narrow, and contain only small areas of 
bottomland. 

Conglomerates and gneisses are the principal soil-forming rocks. The 
soil of the lower valleys is a deep, alluvial loam, while on the lower 
slopes and in the coves a fairly deep, stiff clay soil predominates, which, 
when cleared, is likely to be eroded. The soil of the ridges and upper 
slopes is usually thin, rocky, and unproductive. 

Swain cannot be said to be an agricultural county. Corn and hay are 
grown for local consumption in the little valleys and on the lower slopes, 
and stock raising is carried on in a small way in the mountains. The 
best farming land is found in Oconalufty and Tuckaseigee Valleys, 
above Bryson City, the county seat and principal shipping point, on the 



38 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

Murphy branch of the Southern Railway, which runs through the cen- 
tral part of the county. Much lumber and cordwood, however, are 
shipped from Bushnell. A branch line of the same railroad extends 
down the north bank of the Little Tennessee River from Bushnell to 
Eontana, a distance of 12 miles, which line is to be continued to Knox- 
ville, Tennessee. The Appalachian Railroad runs out from Forney eight 
miles to Cherokee, and is soon to be extended four miles farther up the 
Oconalufty River. With these extensions, transportation facilities will 
be materially improved. 

The wagon roads in the western part of the county are rough and 
badly washed, so that the lumber hauling is difficult. In the central and 
eastern part of the county, however, the roads are in fair shape, the best 
roads being those on the Cherokee Indian reservation. 

This reservation is located in the northeastern part of the county and 
contains some 18,000 acres of land. Up to a short time ago the Chero- 
kee Indians owned several times this amount of land, but a large tract 
has recently been sold off to a lumber company. 

Lumbering, the principal industry of the county, is carried on chiefly 
by means of small portable mills. One large band mill, however, is in 
operation at Eagle Creek, the logging being done by a narrow gauge 
railroad. The Whiting Lumber Company, also, runs a narrow gauge 
railroad from its mill in Graham County to Judson, the shipping point, 
where it owns a large planing mill. 

Most of the lumber sawed in the county by small mills is flumed out 
to the railroad, because of the difficulty of transporting lumber by road, 
and the expense of building railroads. Within easy hauling distance of 
the railroads and near the flumes, where the better grades of timber have 
previously been removed, the land is now being cut over again for tan- 
ning extract wood, pulp wood, and tanbark, which find a ready sale 
delivered at all the small stations. These industries have become im- 
portant factors in forest utilization. After the farm crops are harvested 
many persons spend the rest of the year getting out wood and bark. 
This thorough culling has resulted in a second growth of black oak, 
white oak, poplar, chestnut, ash, and hickory, which in a few years, if 
fires are kept out, will produce good timber. 

About 94 per cent of the land is forest, of which at least one-third is 
virgin. The best stands are found near the heads of the streams and in 
the coves. The trees are tall, often with 80 feet clear length, and with 
diameters varying from 2 to 5 feet. The forest in such situations is 
made up chiefly of chestnut, poplar, hemlock, red oak, and basswood, 
associated with small quantities of other and sometimes even more valu- 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 39 

able trees. These stands will sometimes run from 25,000 to 40,000 
board feet to the acre over considerable areas, but the average yield will 
not exceed 7,000 feet. 

About one and one-half miles north of Siler's Dome, on the Great 
Smoky Mountains, occurs the southwestern limit of the spruce type. The 
trees near the windswept summit of the mountains are rather small and 
scrubby, but where protected they average 2 feet in diameter and 4 to 5 
logs to the tree. Some of the better forests of this type will run from 
40,000 to 50,000 board feet to the acre. 

Fires have been numerous in Swain as in the other mountain coun- 
ties. It was estimated by some of the residents that from 30 to 50 per 
cent of the land has been burned over every year for a long period. 
Fortunately, however, conditions are changing, and most of the large 
companies now employ men to watch against fire, and there is a growing 
sentiment throughout the county against burning the woods. 

MACON COUNTY. 

Macon, in the southern tier of counties, is largely mountainous. It is 
drained by the Tennessee and Nantahala rivers, which flow north from 
the Blue Eidge. The Tennessee River, flowing through the center of 
the county, has formed a broad flood plain from one to four miles across, 
and this plain extends several miles along the principal tributaries. The 
Cowee, Blue Ridge, and jNantahala mountains rise abruptly above this 
fertile farming region and cover four-fifths of the county's area of 340,- 
000 acres, of which about 15 per cent is cleared. The rock formation is 
chiefly granite, gneiss, and schist, decomposing principally into a mica- 
ceous red clay soil. This soil washes easily where it is cultivated on the 
steeper slopes, though most clearings on these slopes are kept in grass, 
which largely prevents erosion. The soil of the Highlands plateau is 
sandy and poor. Only about one-third of the county is owned in tracts 
of 1,000 acres or more. Most of such tracts are held for timber or spec- 
ulation. Lumbering is extensive. In 1909 some 25 mills manufactured 
about ten million board feet of lumber, though most of this was cut by 
only three companies. There are some valuable mineral deposits, such 
as iron, mica, gold, and precious stones, but only the mica resources 
have been developed. 

Franklin, the county seat, is the terminus of the county's only rail- 
road, which enters from Georgia. Shippers complain of excessive 
freight rates, which, they say, render impossible the proper utilization 
of the poorer grades of lumber and of the less valuable species. The 
Nantahala Transportation Company operates a flume in the western 
part of the county, which carries, besides a great deal of hemlock, oak, 



40 FOEEST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

poplar, and chestnut lumber, practically all the pulp and extract wood 
that leaves the county. It connects with the Murphy branch of the 
Southern Railroad at Nantahala. Much bark is shipped from the 
county, though with but little profit to the farmer, who receives only 
$6.50 a ton loaded on the cars. This low price is a result of the high 
freight rate and of the roundabout railroad route to the tanneries. 

Fully 80 per cent of the area of Macon County is absolute forest 
land, and only a little more than 3 per cent of the present forested area 
has soil suited to farming. These farming areas are chiefly in the center 
of the county. The main body of timber is in the western mountains. 
Here is virgin forest covering from 10 to 15 per cent of the county, and 
containing valuable poplar, oak, chestnut, buckeye, linn, and cherry. 
The forests of the eastern mountains have been more heavily culled of 
their valuable timber. Around Highlands are extensive areas of hem- 
lock and some remnants of what were a few years ago valuable white 
pine stands, which are now nearly exhausted. The forests of the cen- 
tral lowland area consist chiefly of woodlots of second growth black and 
white oaks, none of which are larger than tie size. 

The reproduction of hardwoods is good where the forests are pro- 
tected from fire. White pine reproduces well on the Highlands plateau 
both on cleared fields and under the open defective stands of white oak, 
red oak, and chestnut. A little more than 3 per cent of the county is 
abandoned farm land, chiefly steep slopes seldom cultivated, but kept in 
grass. Abandoned fields generally seed up thinly to pitch pine and 
occasionally to fairly good stands of yellow poplar. 

The object of management should be to encourage white pine on the 
Blue Ridge, and to remove also the inferior species when lumbering the 
valuable timber. Macon County will always remain primarily a forest 
region, though it has a good proportion of farm land. 

JACKSON COUNTY. 

Jackson County, with an approximate area of 316,000 acres, is rough 
and broken with elevations which vary from 1,875 feet near Whittier to 
6,400 feet on the top of the Balsams, while the average of the southern 
half of the county is more than 3,000 feet. The extreme southern por- 
tion is cut off from the rest of the county by the Blue Ridge and is 
drained by the headwaters of the Chattooga and Whitewater rivers to 
the Atlantic. The northern, comprising much the greater, portion of the 
county, is drained by the Tuckaseegee and its tributaries. The bottoms 
are generally small and narrow, though there are some fairly large areas 
on Cullowhee Creek and Tuckaseigee River. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 41 

The northern half of the county has a red clay sub-soil, excellent for 
farming where the slopes are not too steep, and the soil of the bottoms 
is very productive ; near the Blue Ridge, however, the soil is poorer and 
more sandy. The chief agricultural products which are shipped out of 
the county are apples, cattle, and sheep. From 10 to 15 per cent of the 
county has been cleared for cultivation, about one-sixth of which is in 
cultivable crops, one-half in pasture or meadow, while one-third has been 
abandoned. Over a large part of the county the land is either too steep 
or the soil too poor for the best growth of corn or small grains, but if 
seeded to grass within a year or two after clearing it yields good forage. 

Transportation facilities are as yet inadequate. The Murphy branch 
of the Southern Railway crosses the northern part of the county while 
the Toxaway branch comes within about seven miles of the county line 
on the southeast. Lumber and tanbark are hauled from 20 to 25 miles 
to these railroads over roads that are only fair, so that only the better 
grades of material can be marketed at a profit. Dogwood blocks have 
been hauled from the south slope of the Blue Ridge, from 35 to 40 miles, 
to Westminster, S. C, where they are manufactured into shuttles and 
bobbins. Flumes are used principally in getting out cordwood, and, 
to some extent, lumber. Three long flumes are now in operation and 
two more are contemplated. Road improvement would greatly facili- 
tate the development of the county. 

More than half the forest land is held in tracts of more than 1,000 
acres, and half of this is held by three owners, the Jackson Lumber Com- 
pany, the Toxaway Lumber Company, and George H. Smathers. The 
average assessed value of timber lands is from $2 to $3 per acre, 
varying according to stand and location. Probably 85 per cent of the 
entire county is absolute forest land, and many of the clearings should 
never have been made. 

The forests have been largely culled of the best poplar and other more 
valuable trees ; even on the farm woodlots little merchantable poplar has 
been spared. White pine was at one time quite abundant over the south- 
ern half of the county, but now there is scarcely any left. Yet these 
are the two species which at the present time can be profitably cut and 
hauled long distances to the railroad. They will bring from $3 to $4 
per thousand stumpage, at from 20 to 25 miles from a railroad, though 
together they will average less than 1,000 board feet per acre. 

Chestnut and oak now form the principal part of the forest. The 
chestnut is, for the most part, wormy and windshaken, and is valuable 
chiefly for extract wood. The stand varies from 10 to more than 40 
cords per acre. There is a fair proportion of pulp wood, hemlock, 



42 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

poplar, linn, and pine, in addition to the chestnut, which greatly in- 
creases the desirability of such tracts as fluming propositions. Flumes 
are the chief means of transporting to the railroad. 

Oak, on the whole, is of inferior quality except at the higher eleva- 
tions and on northerly slopes, where red oak becomes important. White 
oak, as a rule, is small, short-boled, and often defective, and forms a 
comparatively small proportion of the cut. Scarlet oak is abundant on 
the dry flats and ridges, but makes only low grade, inferior lumber. 
Chestnut oak has been cut for bark within 20 miles of the railroad, ex- 
cept on the large holdings. Uncut stands containing chestnut oak will 
yield from one-fourth to one-half cord of bark per acre. Little timber 
of this species, however, has been utilized for lumber. 

The forests south of the Blue Ridge are, on the whole, poorer than 
those north of it, largely because of the greater damage caused by fires 
on the south slopes. For these south slope forests a stand of 2,500 board 
feet per acre, including all merchantable timber over 10 inches in diam- 
eter, is considered good, while the average will not exceed 1,500 or 2,000 
board feet. Many stands north of the Blue Ridge, however, will yield 
from 4,000 to 10,000 board feet, and occasionally more. 

Fires are becoming less and less frequent, as the result of a distinct 
sentiment, particularly among the larger land owners, against the prac- 
tice of burning the woods. Probably not more than 20 per cent of the 
forest was burnt over last year ; and where the woods have escaped fire 
for several years reproduction is satisfactory. White pine and poplar 
reproduce readily along the Blue Ridge, while sprout growth of chest- 
nut and the oaks is abundant in nearly all parts of the county. The 
old fields at lower elevations near the Tuckaseigee River are stocked 
chiefly with shortleaf, pitch and scrub pines, while white pine is a com- 
mon old field tree in the southern part of the county. The stock law is 
in force over the middle part of the county alone, yet its extension to the 
entire county would unquestionably benefit both forest and cattle owners. 

HAYWOOD COUNTY. 

Haywood County covers approximately 346,000 acres, with an aver- 
age assessed valuation of about $5 per acre. Much over half the land is 
held in large tracts by lumbermen or speculators. 

The general topography of Haywood is very rough and the elevations 

high. The highest point, Richland Balsam, has an elevation of 6,540 

feet, and several other peaks are 6,000 feet or over. The main ridges, 

along the county line to the west and south, average higher than 5,000 

feet. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 43 

The county comprises the entire Pigeon Kiver watershed in North 
Carolina. This river has its source on the north slope of the Pisgah 
ridge, and flows north throughout the central portion of the county, 
being joined by several large tributaries, all rising within the county. 
Above Ferguson, the river flows through a comparatively broad valley, 
the principal agricultural region. 

The soil in the valleys varies from a sandy clay loam to a stiff, heavy 
red clay, while on the slopes the soil is clay. On the ridges the soil is 
a very thin sandy clay except on the high Balsam Mountains, where 
there is a deep black loam, rich in humus, that is easily destroyed by 
fires and by washing. 

Waynesville, the county seat, with an elevation of about 2,700 feet, 
is one of the principal summer resorts in Western JSTorth Carolina. 

The Southern Eailroad runs through the central southern or best ag- 
ricultural portion of the county, through the Pigeon Eiver and Rich- 
land Creek valleys, and affords good transportation facilities. A nar- 
now gauge railroad, used by the Champion Fiber Company to get pulp 
wood to their plant, runs up Allen Creek a distance of about eight 
miles. This company has graded a railroad from Clyde to Sunburst, 
and expects to put it in operation soon. About 50 miles of macadam 
roads have been built in different directions from "Waynesville. The dirt 
roads in the valleys are in good shape, but the rougher mountain roads 
are in bad shape. 

Practically 17 per cent of the county has been cleared for agriculture, 
and the farmers specialize on stock raising, Haywood's cattle and mules 
being known all over the region. Little of this, however, is grazed on 
forest range, since the greater part of the county is now under stock 
law. At least half of the cleared land on the lower slopes and broad 
ridges is used for grazing. Unfortunately, much of the land which has 
been cleared for grazing is very steep and has washed so badly that it has 
become almost worthless. 

Haywood probably leads the mountain counties in the manufacture 
of forest products. The Champion Fiber Company, at Canton, is the 
largest mill of its kind in the South. It employs from 600 to 800 hands, 
and furnishes a steady market for a large amount of timber, much of 
which would otherwise have little value. There are. several wood-work- 
ing factories at Waynesville and Hazelwood, and a tannery at the lat- 
ter place. 

Lumbering is carried on mainly by small, portable sawmills, the lum- 
ber being hauled to the railroad on wagons. Flumes are being used to 
great advantage on three large operations to float cordwood and lum- 
ber to the railroad. 



44 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

The best timber is in the coves and towards the heads of the streams 
in the western and southern portions. Here virgin stands of the prin- 
cipal species still remain, and some large watersheds average more than 
7,000 board feet per acre. Large quantities of chestnut, poplar, red oak, 
linn, and hemlock are still standing, and much of it is over-mature. At 
least one-third of the county is covered with original forest growth. On 
the lower slopes and ridges, the forests have been culled several times and 
now support a second growth of oaks, chestnut, hickory, and maple. 
Where fires have been kept out these stands are growing fairly well, but 
the forest would be greatly improved if the over-mature trees were re- 
moved. In the old washed fields of the western and central portions 
yellow pine has come up, and if left will hold the soil and put it to 
profitable use. The largest continuous area of spruce and balsam in the 
State is on the high mountains of the southern part of Haywood and 
extending over into Jackson and Transylvania counties. In this area 
red spruce constitutes about 80 per cent of the stand, balsam 18 per cent, 
and birch, beech, and buckeye the remainder. The trees grow in dense 
stands, with diameters up to 3 feet. The best timbered areas will cut 
50,000 board feet to the acre, but the whole type will not average more 
than 8,000 because of the small timber on the tops of the ridges. The 
Champion Fiber Company is now logging in this forest near Kichland 
Balsam. 

The general sentiment of the people throughout the county is against 
fires, yet from carelessness and other sources fires burn over 20 per cent 
of the forests annually. Land-owners fail to insist on fire prevention 
when they sell standing timber, and the purchaser is indifferent, so long 
as he sustains no loss. 

TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY. 

Transylvania County has an approximate area of 237,000 acres. The 
comparatively small portion of agricultural land lies chiefly in the valley 
of the French Broad which rises in the southwest and flows northeast 
through the middle of the county, draining nearly the whole area. Its 
two principal tributaries, Davidson and Little rivers, drain, respect- 
ively, the rugged northern and southeastern sections. South of the Blue 
Eidge a small section drains into the Horsepasture Biver, which flows 
into South Carolina. The most rugged mountains are in the north- 
western part, reaching an altitude in the Pisgah ridge of 6,440 feet. The 
lowest elevation in the county is on Toxaway River, 1,100 feet above 
sea level. 

The rock formation is largely granitic, with some schist and lime- 
stone. The soil generally is loamy, but along the Blue Ridge, in the 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 45 

southern part of the county, sand predominates. Most of the county is 
absolute forest land, yet the forest is in. poor condition, the repeated 
burnings having hastened the death of mature timber and largely pre- 
vented its replacement by young growth. Near the railroad the woods 
have been culled of their best timber during the past ten years, and the 
poorer species are gaining ground. 

A tract of 50,000 acres in this county, belonging to the G. "W. Van- 
derbilt estate, has had fire patrol for several years. In spite of some 
wilfull setting of fires the reproduction is remarkably good over more 
than half of this protected area. 

This county contains several large holdings, aggregating nearly 100,- 
000 acres, or 42 per cent of the total area. Most of this land lies in a 
solid body which could readily be placed under a system of fire patrol, 
which could be maintained at a cost of only a few cents per acre. The 
stock law is in force over probably a third of the county, but not in the 
more mountainous parts. 

One of the chief sources of income is the summer tourist trade, and 
some 12,000 acres are owned by summer hotels in solid holdings. This 
is one of the best known summer resort regions in the Appalachian 
Mountains, the celebrated "Sapphire Country" lying in this and Jack- 
son County. For this reason, the forests should have special consid- 
eration here, because of their great aesthetic as well as economic value. 

Aside from the summer resort business, the great industry is the 
marketing of chestnut extract wood and tanbark, and the old over- 
mature chestnut is being cut and disposed of for extract wood, of which 
there is still probably 30 cords to the acre on the forested area of the 
county. There is a large extract plant and a large tannery, both cen- 
trally located. A very small proportion of this chestnut wood is fit for 
saw-timber. Much pulp wood from hemlock, poplar, linn, and pine, is 
shipped out of the county. 

The lumber trade is not active at this time, and no large mills are in 
operation, though one is being erected in the Cathey's Creek region, 
which will cut 1,000,000 feet a year. The reasons for the present small 
annual cut are : the poor stand on much of the area ; the inaccessibility 
of some of the better timber ; and, most of all, the control of large bodies 
of timber by companies which do not wish to have them logged. 

The county has good railroad facilities, since the Transylvania branch 
of the Southern Kailroad extends almost across the county, making good 
connections at Hendersonville and Asheville for the north and south. 
The roads of the county are good in the larger valleys, but much of the 
county is still somewhat inaccessible, even by trail. Though there is con- 



46 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

siderable undeveloped agricultural land in the large holdings, this is 
typically a mountain county which will remain largely dependent on its 
forests for its revenue and prosperity. 

HENDERSON COUNTY. 

Henderson County, with an area of nearly 232,000 acres, has a larger 
proportion of comparatively level land than most of the mountain coun- 
ties. The Blue Eidge crosses the eastern part of the county and the 
Pisgah range borders it on the west. Between these two is a large 
plateau drained by the French Broad and its principal tributaries, 
Mills River and Mud Creek. The south slope of the Blue Ridge is 
drained by Green and Broad rivers, both flowing eastward. 

The rock formation is mostly granitic. The soil is sandy, underlaid 
by deep red clay, except in the southern part where clay comes to the 
surface. Though not the best agricultural land, the soil is productive 
when properly farmed and fertilized. 

The county is well provided with railroad facilities, the Toxaway and 
Spartanburg branches of the Southern Railway connecting it with all 
important markets. The public roads form a complete network over 
the greater part of the county and are kept in condition by the county 
chain-gang. A few areas along the more distant borders, however, are 
still somewhat inaccessible. On Big Hungry River, about the head- 
waters of Green River and in the extreme northwestern part of the 
county are large areas, several thousand acres in extent, that are too far 
removed from the railroad to be properly opened up for lumbering or 
settlement. 

These three localities, together with the Broad River drainage basin 
in the northeastern part of the county, include all of the best timber, 
though the larger and better poplar is mostly culled out. Whip sawing 
has been extensively practiced in lumbering poplar, and is still employed. 
Some logging was done in the extreme northwest, chiefly on the Vander- 
bilt estate, and the timber splashed down Mills River from 12 to 15 
years ago. Elsewhere in the county most of the merchantable timber 
has been cut. 

Since there are so few extensive tracts of valuable timber in the 
county there are few large mills, but 25 or more small mills are scat- 
tered over the county; none of them cut much more than half a million 
feet annually. Many of them have little else than small black oak and 
poor quality pitch and shortleaf pine to work on. Among these mills 
are at least three old-fashioned sash-saw water mills ; their presence in- 
dicates the exhaustion of the supply of accessible timber, since the 
owners say it would not pay to install modern circular saws. Several 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN" WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 47 

small shingle mills are operated in connection with the saw mills, and 
this enables them to utilize small and poor timber. One mill was cutting 
laths from pine logs that were as small as 5 inches in diameter at the 
top. The only shingle mill of importance cuts 500,000 shingles annually. 

The pulp and extract wood business is carried on very extensively 
with no immediate sign of lessening. Probably about four-fifths of the 
exported wood is chestnut, about one-tenth poplar, and one-tenth pine 
and miscellaneous pulp wood, together with a considerable amount of 
fuel wood which is shipped to Asheville. Tanbark is nearly exhausted, 
though several carloads are shipped annually from most of the railroad 
stations. A considerable number of ties are cut and delivered along the 
railroad right of way. Other minor wood industries in the county are a 
handle factory, a planing mill, and a furniture factory. Henderson is 
one of the most densely settled counties, and will always make a consid- 
erable demand upon its forests. Its location with reference to markets, 
and its population, make possible a complete utilization of the timber 
resources. It will remain primarily a farming and stock-raising county, 
though it contains large areas of absolute forest land. The people are 
progressive, and are aware of the damage by forest fires. There is a 
county stock law and a live public sentiment which help to keep most 
forest fires in control. 

Forest reproduction is good, except in remote mountain districts 
where fires still occur. White pine, while not abundant commercially 
except in the southwest, comes in remarkably well on old fields where 
there are nearby seed trees. Its height growth will average fully 2 feet 
a year, and this makes it one of the best species for planting. Chestnut 
is not reproducing well, which is possibly partly due to the fact that it 
is culled out so that the stumps are too much shaded by other species 
for successful coppice growth. Its poor sprout growth may also be due 
to the fact that the trees are cut at the season of the year which least 
favors sprouting. Poplar also comes in poorly except along the edge of 
clearings and waste areas. The chief reproduction in the forest here, as 
elsewhere, is oak, especially scarlet oak. On many old clearings, poplar 
and locust come in well, and on clear cuttings the oaks and chestnut 
flourish. White pine is seeding abundantly under the rather open wood- 
lot forests of black and white oaks, where there are seed trees. In many 
places, especially south of Hendersonville, it would be wise to cut out 
the overhead oaks for fuel, leaving a good stand of young white pine 
which is already on the ground. 

This county is widely known for its advantages as a summer resort. 
Large areas about Hendersonville, Flat Eock, and the several artificial 



48 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

lakes in the region are kept in forest and protected from fire for the 
beautifying of summer homes and estates. 

Henderson County has special reason to protect and perpetuate its 
forests on the absolute forest land, because their benefits are needed for 
the large and growing population on the extensive farm areas. 

BUNCOMBE COUNTY. 

Buncombe, with an approximate area of 400,000 acres, is the largest 
county west of the Blue Bidge. The topography is on the whole more 
open and level than that of any other county of the region, though sev- 
eral peaks rise to over 6,000 feet in the northeast corner of the county, 
and in the southwest also the mountains attain considerable heights ; all 
the central part, however, is a rolling plateau, varying from 2,000 to 
2,500 feet in elevation. This condition, together with the favorable 
markets, makes Buncombe one of the best agricultural counties of the 
region. 

The French Broad Biver, which flows through the center of the 
county, with its tributaries, Swannanoa Biver, Hominy, Cane, Sandy 
Mush, Big Ivy, and other smaller creeks, drains the entire county. 

Owing to the comparatively slight fall in most of the streams, there 
are large areas of bottom land, which produce excellent crops. Alto- 
gether 50 per cent of the county has been cleared for cultivation, but 
probably 10 per cent of this is now abandoned. There is much forest 
land left, however, that can be cleared. Five-sixths is held in farms and 
small areas under 1,000 acres in extent, so that much the greater part of 
the forest land should be considered as farm woodlots. Of the remain- 
ing one-sixth, nearly one-half belongs to the famous Biltmore estate, 
which, besides forest, includes much rich and well-tilled agricultural 
land. 

Bough forest land has an assessed valuation of from $2 to $5 per 
acre, varying according to location and the amount of standing timber. 

Bailroad facilities in Buncombe County are excellent. Four lines of 
the Southern Bailway radiate from Asheville, the center of the county, 
to the north, south, east, and west; besides which there is an electric 
road which is being extended from Asheville to the northeast corner of 
the county. There are 700 miles of wagon roads in the county, 60 
miles of which are macadamized. 

Buncombe is essentially an agricultural county. There are a few 
small woodworking plants in and around Asheville, a tanning extract 
plant, and one of the largest plants in the South for the manufacture of 
coffins and caskets is now being built at Asheville. Asheville is head- 
quarters for a large hardwood business, but the dealers draw their sup- 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 49 

plies chiefly from outlying counties. There are many portable mills 
which cut small amounts of timber here and there over the county, 
though only one or two large logging operations have been attempted. 

The forests have been so closely and so frequently cut over that there 
is little virgin timber left. Practically the only good timber is on the 
high, steep mountains in the northeast and even here most of the larger 
poplar was culled out years ago. There still remains some smaller pop- 
lar and considerable chestnut, red and chestnut oaks, and a little maple. 
The best timbered stands are variously estimated at from 2,000 to 7,000 
board feet of merchantable timber per acre, with 3,000 feet of saw 
timber as a fair average. Throughout the remaining forested portions of 
the county there is little salable saw timber left. Second growth, espe- 
cially of the different species of pine, has come in abundantly on the 
more severely cut over woods of the rolling uplands as well as on the 
old fields. Pine does not seem to flourish above 2,500 feet in elevation. 
Eeproduction of the hardwoods, such as chestnut, poplar, and the oaks, 
is abundant on the steeper and higher slopes, while locust is found prin- 
cipally on the abandoned cleared lands. In the flat woods, a gravelly 
area in the southeastern part of the county, young chestnut is almost 
entirely absent, and even the old trees which were once common have 
nearly all died. 

There is a strong sentiment against burning the woods and much of 
the woodland has not been burnt for many years. Carelessness on the 
part of farmers in cleaning up land for cultivation in the spring has, 
however, been the cause of several very destructive fires. 

The forests of Buncombe have their chief value to the people in 
furnishing fuel, posts, and other timber for local uses, and in preventing 
erosion. While the mountainous regions in the outskirts of the county 
will continue to produce timber of the more valuable kinds, the forests 
of the central part will be required chiefly to supply the local needs. By 
keeping fire out absolutely, and by cutting for fuel all the slow growing, 
inferior species, the productiveness and value of these forests should con- 
tinuously increase. 

MADISON COUNTY. 

Madison County contains approximately 270,000 acres. About 35 
per cent of the land is held in large holdings of 1,000 acres or more in 
extent, which are situated for the most part in the northern and west- 
ern portions of the county, where the land is valued chiefly for its tim- 
ber. The topography, like that throughout the western part of the State, 
is rough. The highest point is Sandy Mush Bald, in the extreme south- 
western corner, which reaches an elevation of 5,168 feet, while the lowest 
4 



50 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

altitude, 1,300 feet, is in the valley of the French Broad at the Tennessee 
line. This river, which falls about 227 feet in its northwestward course 
through the center of the county, together with its tributaries, the larg- 
est of which are Spring and Laurel creeks, makes a very complete 
drainage system. The valleys of the streams that flow into the Trench 
Broad are generally narrow, with steep, rocky slopes near their mouths, 
generally becoming broader with more gentle slopes near the head- 
waters. The ridges are low and broad in the eastern portion of the 
county, while in the west they are not uncommonly rocky and precipi- 
tous. The principal rocks are conglomerates, quartz, and sandstone. 

In general, the soil may be described as a loamy clay. On the lower 
slopes and in the valleys it is deep and alluvial in character, becoming 
poorer and thinner in the upper slopes, until on the higher ridges it 
occurs only in thin patches or between the crevices of the rocks. 

The principal agricultural crops, corn, hay, rye, and wheat, are raised 
for home consumption; recently Burley tobacco has been tried in the 
western portion of the county; stock raising is extensive. 

Marshall, the county seat, is built on a small area of flat land in the 
French Broad Gorge, and is enclosed on either side by steep hills rising 
some 200 feet above the stream. A cotton mill utilizes the water-power 
at this point. 

The chief shipping points are all located along the French Broad on 
the Southern Railway, of which Barnard, Stackhouse, Hot Springs, and 
Paint Bock are the most important. Barnard has a hickory handle 
factory. 

Transportation facilities are poor. The roads on the high ground are 
washed and rocky, and many of the valley roads have been relegated to 
the creek beds. These conditions, together with the rough topography, 
prevent the close utilization of timber at present market prices, except 
near the railroad; as a result thousands of feet of dead and down tim- 
ber, which might be utilized for ties or cordwood, are going to waste. 

Approximately 29 per cent of the land is cleared. The agricultural 
sections are along the valleys, the lower slopes, and the broad hilltops of 
the eastern, southern, and central portions. Here the woods have been 
cut over several times for lumber, so that the present forest is made up 
of second growth oak, chestnut, hickory, maple, and poplar, mixed with 
over-mature, stag-headed trees, chiefly of chestnut and oaks. These 
stands would be greatly improved if the mature trees were removed. 
Yellow and white pine have come in on the old fields of the eastern por- 
tions of the county, forming dense stands that should be cared for and 
protected from fire. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 5i 

The northern and western portions of the county still retain a large 
part of the original growth of chestnut, poplar, and red and white oaks. 
Along the main streams and in the more accessible places, however, por- 
table mills have taken out much of the better grades of oak and poplar. 
Several years ago a company splashed logs down Big Laurel to its 
mouth, but the operation was unprofitable. 

"West of Shelton Laurel, white pine grows in mixture with the hard- 
woods, and is the chief tree in the stand. Over considerable areas it still 
forms as much as one-quarter of the merchantable standing timber. In 
rocky cliffs along the French Broad River the three common species of 
pine — scrub, shortleaf, and pitch — often mixed with a few white pines, 
form almost pure coniferous stands. Their growth is slow and the 
trees are small, averaging from 6 to 12 inches in diameter. The soil is 
thin and susceptible to erosion, so that in cutting this type, enough trees 
should be left to protect the soil and to furnish seed for a second crop. 
These pines are prolific seed bearers, and if fire is kept out reproduction 
can readily be obtained. 

Fire scalds, or old burns, are very numerous on the southern slopes in 
the western part of the county, and much damage has been done by 
forest fires elsewhere. It is estimated that at least 25 per cent of the 
forests throughout the county are burned over annually. The present 
sentiment of the people, however, is against fires, but nut gatherers and 
campers still do enormous damage with fire each year. In the more 
thickly settled regions the woods are injured by cattle which run at 
large in the northern half of the county, where in many places reproduc- 
tion from this cause is almost wholly lacking. 

YANCEY COUNTY. 

Yancey has an approximate area of 193,000 acres, with an average 
assessed value of $2.60 per acre. Over 40 per cent of the land is held in 
large tracts of 1,000 acres or more in extent. These holdings are valued 
chiefly for their timber and are held principally as investments. 

The topography is generally rough and the average elevation high. 
The Black Mountain Range in the southern portion of the county con- 
tains many peaks more than 6,000 feet high, and Mount Mitchell, the 
highest peak east of the Rockies, rises to an elevation of 6,711 feet above 
sea level. In the northern and western sections of the county the ridges 
have an average elevation of about 4,000 feet above sea level, Bald 
Mountain rising to 5,500 feet. 

Four considerable streams, South Toe and Caney rivers, and Jacks 
and Crabtree creeks, rise within the county, and flowing in a northerly 
direction empty into Toe River, which forms the northern boundary of 
the county. 



52 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

The rocky and often precipitous slopes and narrow ridges of the 
higher mountains give place below the 4,000 foot contour to broader 
ridges with more gentle slopes, these, in turn, gradually descending into 
comparatively level, though narrow, valleys, where most of the land has 
been cleared and is devoted to agriculture. 

The principal rocks are sandstones, conglomerates, and quartzites. 
Micaceous rocks occur throughout the county, but are most abundant in 
the eastern portion, where mica mines are being operated. The soil on 
the higher ridges is very thin, except in the spruce formation, where, on 
the slopes, there is a deep, black sandy loam which washes away when 
the forest is cleared off. The lower ridges and slopes are covered with 
a sandy clay of varying depth, which is well adapted to the production of 
grass, and of fruits, especially apples. The principal crops are corn, 
hay, and potatoes, all of which are used locally. Stock raising is ex- 
tensive, and though cattle, sheep, and hogs still roam the woods in the 
roughest districts, large areas have been cleared on the ridges for graz- 
ing purposes. Good grass land is valued at from $10 to $15 per acre, 
while farm land in the valley ranges from $20 to $50 per acre. 

Lumbering is carried on for the most part by small portable mills. 
Some seven years ago a lumber company put in a band-mill near Bald 
Mountain, built 18 miles of narrow gauge railroad down Caney River to 
Huntdale, and failed after taking out some 15,000,000 feet of timber. 
Lumber that is shipped out has to be hauled over rough roads, which in 
winter and spring are almost impassable. Besides this the railroad 
points are on the north side of the Toe River in Mitchell County, and 
there are no bridges. Since the larger streams can not be forded after 
heavy rains, the building of roads and bridges would enormously in- 
crease the value of property in Yancey County. 

Burnsville, the county seat, has all the advantages of an ideal summer 
resort, except accessibility. 

Of the 85 per cent of forest land, considerably more than half has been 
cut over ; virgin stands still remain in the southern and western portions 
of the county. The Murchison boundary of 13,000 acres, located on the 
headwaters of Caney Creek, is the largest single tract of virgin timber. 

In the northern, central, and eastern portions, a large amount of the 
land has at one time or another been cleared for agriculture, but much 
of it has been abandoned and now generally supports a thrifty second 
growth. Here the forests have been culled several times, and the better 
grades of oak, poplar, and pine removed, leaving the poorer species. As 
a result most of the woodland is second growth, with scattered old chest- 
nuts, red oaks, poplars, and white oaks, many of which are stag-headed, 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 53 

decayed at the butt, and over-mature. These are in many cases hinder- 
ing the development of the younger trees, so that the forest would be 
benefited by their removal. Where the cuttings have been comparatively 
recent and severe, an even-aged second growth of oaks, chestnut, poplar, 
hickory, and maple is common. Where fires have not burned the stands 
are thrifty and in good condition. 

In the forests which have not been culled heavily, chestnut and the 
oaks make up at least 60 per cent of the stand; poplar, hickory, and 
maple are also important. Over-mature and defective trees of all 
species, but especially of chestnut, are present. Chestnut and the oaks 
are reproducing prolifically from sprouts, while seedlings of poplar and 
hickory are common. At present, there is very little market for the 
large defective chestnut trees, and this must continue to be the case until 
means of transportation are improved,* so that this wood can be got out 
at a profit. 

Several areas of the beech and maple type occur in Yancey, as well 
as in the counties to the east. Beech, birch, sugar maple, and linn make 
up about 70 per cent of this type. Unfortunately, under present market 
conditions, the beech, birch, and maple have little value, so that only the 
linn, ash, cucumber, and buckeye are cut. This gives the inferior species 
such a great advantage in reseeding the woods that the second growth 
forest can not help going backward, because it will contain a smaller 
proportion of the better species than the present one. 

A considerable area of spruce forest occurs on the Black Mountains. 
Ked spruce and balsam each make up about half of the stand, the two 
together running from 20 to 50 cords an acre. Owing to the inaccessi- 
bility of this timber it has little commercial value at present, but as 
transportation facilities improve it will no doubt come into the market 
for pulp wood and lumber. 

The spruce forest has suffered severely from fire. On the east slope 
of the Black Mountains at least 10 per cent of this type has been totally 
destroyed. After burning, the soil has been washed away, leaving only 
bare rocks. The fires are said to be set by hunters. Some 15 to 25 per 
cent of the county is still burned over each year. The people, however, 
are becoming convinced that burning the woods is a most destructive 
practice, and fires are decreasing. 

MITCHELL COUNTY. 

Mitchell County contains approximately 231,000 acres, with an aver- 
age assessed value of about $4.50 per acre. Except the northeast corner, 

* A railroad is now being built from the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway to Burnsville. 



54 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

which is drained by Linville River, flowing south, and Elk Creek, flowing 
north, the county lies within the drainage basin of the North Toe River, 
which, with Crabtree Creek, forms its western boundary. The streams, 
generally speaking, flow through comparatively narrow valleys with 
high mountains on either side. The topography is rough and the alti- 
tudes high. Grandfather Mountain attains an altitude of nearly 6,000 
feet, while several other peaks exceed 5,000 feet in height. The average 
elevation of the county may be said to be approximatly 3,000 feet above 
sea level. The ridges of the higher mountains are narrow, with rocky, 
precipitous slopes and thin soil, while the lower ridges are often broader. 
These slopes have a sandy clay soil of varying depths, which, if not too 
steep, will produce an abundance of grass when cleared. The broad 
ridges, especially in the southern part of the county, which have been 
cleared for farming purposes, are usually covered with a deep, loamy 
clay soil. In the valleys the soil varies from a sandy loam to a stiff red 
clay. These valley and lower soils are well adapted to agriculture. 

A few valley roads are in fair condition, but like its neighbor, Yancey, 
this county should have improved travel facilities in roads and bridges, 
It would seem that some arrangement could be entered into between 
these two counties for the joint construction of two or three bridges 
across Toe River, which would result in enormous benefit to both. 
Mitchell has built one steel bridge across North Toe at Spruce Pine, 
where the stream is entirely within the county. 

The Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway runs down the Mitchell 
side of the North Toe River, so that all points in the southern portion 
of the county are within a fairly short haul from the railroad. A nar- 
row gauge railroad, which runs from Pineola to Johnson City, Tenn., 
has opened up the northeastern section of the county to summer visitors. 
and has made an outlet for timber products. The greater part of the 
lumber shipped from the county has been carried over this road. 

Bakersville, the county seat, is in the heart of the mountains on Cane 
River, some three miles from the nearest railroad station. Better travel 
facilities would make it a very attractive summer resort. 

Farming is carried on chiefly along the valleys and lower slopes and 
hills. Corn and hay, the chief crops, are used locally. At least 50 per 
cent of the cleared land is used for grazing, though stock are still 
allowed to range the forests over a large part of the county. 

Mica, kaolin, and iron are mined to a limited extent. Sheet mica is 
associated with feldspar in the central and southern portions of the 
county, and considerable high grade commercial mica has been shipped. 
There are two kaolin mines on Bear Creek. At Cranberry, iron has 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 55 

been mined for from 30 to 40 years. The ore was formerly smelted here, 
but now it is taken in the rough state to Johnson City, Tenn. Before 
the Civil War, iron ore was mined and smelted near Magnetic City. 

Lumbering, which is carried on chiefly by small portable mills, is the 
principal industry. Some 52 sawmills are at present operating in the 
county, of which a dozen or more are small water-mills, run in connec- 
tion with grist mills. All lumber is hauled to the railroad by wagons. 
This is an expensive process, for though the distances are not great, the 
hauls are made most difficult by the poor condition of the roads, which 
in the winter and spring months are almost impassable for a loaded 
wagon. Three of the larger lumber companies have built tram roads 
from their logging yards to their mills and the railroad, in order to do 
away with the difficulties of wagon hauling. 

Forests still cover 77 per cent of the county. The best grades of tim- 
ber are in the northern and southeastern portions, where there are vir- 
gin stands. Probably the largest single tract of virgin timber, consist- 
ing of some 9,200 acres situated in the Linville Biver drainage basin, is 
held by the Linville Improvement Company. Around Magnetic City 
and Cranberry, where the forest was cut over some 25 or 30 years ago 
for smelter wood, thrifty second growth stands of young oak, chestnut, 
poplar, and sugar maple occur. These young stands will develop into 
valuable forests if protected from fire. 

In the less severely culled woods, which constitute the greater part of 
the forests, chestnut and the oaks are the most important species. In 
the coves and near the heads of streams, chestnut is the most character- 
istic tree, probably making up 40 per cent of the stand. The trees are 
generally large, and the timber for the most part over-mature and poor. 
Most of it has little value, except for extract wood. In the bottoms hem- 
lock is in poor condition. It is estimated that at least 30 per cent of the 
trees are shaky or otherwise defective. This bottomland type of hem- 
lock growth which is most common in the Linville Valley and near 
Montezuma generally occupies deep, loamy clay soils that are well suited 
to agriculture. These will eventually be cleared up and the land con- 
verted into farms. Spruce and balsam occupy the tops and upper slopes 
of Grandfather, Koan, and Unaka mountains. The trees are generally 
small and scrubby, and the stand will not average over 20 cords to the 
acre. Ked spruce makes up about 60 per cent of this forest and balsam 
35 per cent, while birch, buckeye, and hemlock constitute the remainder. 

Fires are most frequent in the vicinity of the railroads, and until 
recent years there has been little attempt to prevent them. Probably 
from 20 to 25 per cent of the forest is still burned over annually. 



56 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

WATAUGA COUNTY. 

Watauga, with an area of 211,200 acres, is an upland county of 
rather rugged topography. The range of elevation is from 2,000 feet 
near the foot of the Blue Eidge to 5,964 on the top of Grandfather 
Mountain, while the greater part of the county has an elevation of more 
than 3,000 feet. The crest of the Blue Kidge runs along the south 
boundary or a few miles within it. North of this the county is again 
divided by the Rich Mountain Ridge, which runs north and south 
through the middle of the county, shedding the western drainage into 
Watauga River and the eastern into the North Fork of the New River. 

The rock of the county is principally freestone, ranging from a fine- 
grained granite to mica and chlorite schists. The soil is a gray sandy 
loam almost free from the red clay which is usually prevalent in the 
mountain counties, and is fairly deep even on the mountains, and does 
not easily erode. 

Watauga has no railroad within its border, the nearest station being 
Elk Park, five miles outside. Yet the public road system is good, and 
the roads are for the most part well graded and well kept. 

Lumbering is prominent and the lumber can be profitably hauled long 
distances, even more than 30 miles. The chief shipping points are Elk 
Park and Pineola, in Mitchell County, Lenoir in Caldwell County, and 
Shouns and Butler in Tennessee. One large company with a band mill 
at Butler, Tenn., is operating a tram road in the western end of the 
county. Of the remaining 20-odd mills, none cuts as much as a million 
feet, and most are small portable or water mills with a cut of less than 
250,000 feet per year. These mills are pretty evenly distributed through 
the county. 

No pulp or extract wood is cut, though in the vicinity of Beech 
Mountain considerable hemlock bark is gathered and taken to Elk Park 
and Butler. Probably a thousand cords were taken out in 1909. 

Farming is the chief occupation in Watauga. It is famous for its 
grass, and for its sheep and cattle. There are good farms in all parts of 
the county except on the rocky slopes of the Blue Ridge in the southeast- 
ern corner. Even a large part of the present forest occupies good agri- 
cultural land, but this can well be kept so as to furnish fuel and lumber 
for the farms. Probably 20 per cent of the forest is in farm woodlots. 
Most of the cleared land used for farming is, strangely enough, on steep 
mountain sides. Such slopes in a clay county would wash badly, but 
here, owing to the deeper and more porous soils, and to efficient farm 
management, there is no serious erosion. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 57 

In but few places is the forest in large, unbroken areas, as in certain 
tracts on Beech, Grandfather, and Rich mountains, and on the south 
slope of the Blue Ridge. While showing much variation in different 
parts of the couuty, the forests are nevertheless characterized by cer- 
tain species. Hemlock is very abundant throughout, and cuts high grade 
local building material. Oak and chestnut still predominate in some 
parts, though they are not much more common than the sugar maple. 
Cherry and walnut were once common, but together with most of the 
poplar were cut years ago. White ash is becoming scarce, but white oak 
is more abundant than in most other counties of this region. Balsam 
and spruce grow above 5,500 feet on Grandfather Mountain, on Beech 
Mountain, and in the Elk Mountains. 

Practically all of the county is owned in small holdings of less than 
500 acres, only about 10 per cent being in the hands of lumber interests 
or in large estates of over 1,000 acres. 

Watauga, remote as it is from large markets, is a progressive county, 
and is well settled. The land is natural farmland, and except along 
the southern slopes of the Blue Ridge, there are no very extensive areas 
of absolute forest land. 

ASHE COUNTY. 

Ashe, embracing an area of 255,000 acres, is, like Watauga, a farm- 
ing county; it is perhaps more rugged, though lower in general eleva- 
tion. The crest of the Blue Ridge forms much of its southeast bound- 
ary, while the Elk Mountains occur in the southwest. Other ranges from 
4,000 to 5,000 feet high are scattered irregularly over the county. 

The, county is drained by the North and South Forks of New River. 
These streams rise in Watauga County and now in a northeasterly direc- 
tion. In Ashe County both are capable of floating logs. The chief rock 
formation of Ashe County is a black banded gneiss grading into shales, 
slates, and schists, which decompose into a red clay soil containing small 
mica particles. Along the Blue Ridge the usual gray mica and chlorite 
schists and granites occur, decomposing into a gray sandy soil. 

Like Watauga and Alleghany, Ashe County is remote from railroads. 
Wilkesboro, in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and Shouns, Tennessee, 
are its nearest railroad points. Most of the lumber and produce taken 
out and the supplies brought in have to be hauled from 15 to 40 miles, 
but the public roads are for the most part well kept. Like all clay roads, 
however, they are heavy in wet weather. 

Ashe County has copper, iron, and mica deposits, some of which have 
been partially developed. The chief occupation, however, is farming, 
and this is likely to be the case for some time to come. Cattle and 



58 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

sheep grazing is extensive. The cleared land on the steep slopes washes 
considerably, even when in grass, and it is estimated that about 5 per 
cent of such land is so badly eroded as to warrant its abandonment to 
forest growth. 

A large' part of the land has been cleared, since the county has been 
long settled, and for this reason the forested area has a low average 
stand to the acre compared with Watauga County. There are no large 
timbered tracts except in the southwestern part of the county on Paddy, 
JSTigger, Bluff, Elk, Three Top, and other mountains. There are many 
sawmills, though none has an annual cut of more than 500,000 board 
feet. Many of these mills cut shingles as well as lumber. Chestnut and 
white and red oaks form the bulk of the cut, except in the southeastern 
quarter of the county, where white pine leads. The supply of this tim- 
ber, however, is nearing exhaustion. Locust does well all over the 
county, though often attacked by the borer. Probably some hundred 
thousand locust posts are annually cut for local use. 

The forest trees are about the same as those in "Watauga. Hemlock is 
not so abundant, because more of the hemlock lands have been cleared 
up for cultivation. White oak is the commonest oak, and is much more 
plentiful than in Watauga County, though much of it is defective. 

Ashe will always be chiefly important as a farming county, and its 
forest's greatest value will be for the production of firewood, small tim- 
bers for farm use and for a local lumber supply. While some of the 
mountain areas in the western part are largely composed of absolute 
forest land, and can most profitably be kept in forest growth, yet taking 
the county as a whole, there are no extended areas that are pre-eminently 
suited for a large State or National forest reserve. 

ALLEGHANY COUNTY. 

Alleghany, comprising about 140,000 acres, is similar to both Ashe 
and Watauga counties in its topography and soil, though somewhat less 
rough than either. It lies largely northwest of the Blue Ridge, and all 
but a small area south of this divide drains into New River in Virginia, 
principally through Little River and its tributaries. The county ranges 
in elevation from about 2,400 to 4,100 feet. 

The characteristic rocks are the granites, gneisses, and schists of the 
Blue Ridge, which decompose into a sandy soil. In the northern third 
of the county the soil contains clay admixture and yields good crops. 
In this clay soil are evidences of deep erosion even on gentle slopes, but 
most of the farms are kept in grass, and this tends to hold the soil in 
place. The greater part of the county, however, has a lighter, more 
porous soil, which resists erosion, and where this is the case, even the 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 59 

steeper mountain sides have a fairly deep soil and are successfully 
farmed and grazed. A few thousand acres lying south of the Blue 
Ridge, unlike the rest of the county, is rocky and precipitous, with shal- 
low soil, which is generally unsuited to farming. 

Alleghany does not have adequate market facilities, since its roads are 
not as good as they should he, and the nearest railroad stations are be- 
yond its boundaries. The middle of the county is 25 miles from Galax, 
Ya., 35 from Wilkesboro, 1ST. C, and nearly 30 from Elkin, K C, the 
three chief markets. There are no streams large enough for the transpor- 
tation of timber, though Little River might possibly be drivable in flood 
seasons. As a result of its isolation Alleghany has not been able to 
develop its resources. About a thousand cords of tanbark are hauled to 
market each year, over distances 20 miles or more; but this would 
scarcely be a paying proposition, were it not for the fact that supplies 
must be brought in, and a load is thus secured both ways. 

Lumbering is on a small scale, with some two dozen portable and 
water mills. As in Ashe and Watauga counties, there is no great in- 
centive to cut lumber for shipment, since the long haul not only neces- 
sitates careful culling, but tends to take away all profit, even on the 
valuable species. Three or four mills manufacture chestnut shingles, 
while two or three mills do finishing work, either in connection with the 
sawmill or as a separate business. 

Farming is the chief occupation. The section around and north of 
Peach Bottom Mountain is fertile and produces two tons of hay to the 
acre. Sheep and cattle are raised, while the chief field crops are hay, 
cabbage, buckwheat, and corn. 

The mineral resources are undeveloped; soapstone occurs in some 
places and other minerals have been found along the Blue Ridge. 

Most of the forest of the county was cut off years ago when the land 
was being cleared for farming. At present 63 per cent of the county is 
cleared. Even in the uncleared areas, the timber may be negligible in 
quantity and quality because of fires which were set to "improve" the 
range for cattle. Most of the old timber that has survived is defective 
chestnut. Young white pine has started up in places, since the cessa- 
tion of fires. Young scarlet oak grows all over the county. The forest 
generally is characterized by the predominance of white oak and an 
abundance of scarlet oak pole stands. Red oak, known locally as water 
oak, is common on the better sites and in the mountains, and furnishes 
a large part of the better grades of lumber. 

White pine could be planted to advantage on the sandier soils. On 
the better soils red oak should do well. Scarlet oak managed as coppice, 
will furnish fuel. 



60 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

Alleghany will always be a farming county and can utilize locally 
most of the timber that can be grown there. The county is now under 
the stock law, and forest fires, which formerly did so much damage, are 
now rare. 

TIMBER INDUSTRIES. 

LUMBER. 

Practically all of the timber cut in Western North Carolina is sawed 
or otherwise manufactured in that part of the State; little is shipped 
out in the log. Two-fifths of all the timber cut for sale is manufactured 
into lumber ; but the greater part of this is shipped out of the region. 

Except for agriculture, almost all of the products of which are con- 
sumed locally, lumbering is by far the most important industry. In 
1909 about 185,000,000 feet of lumber brought a money return of 
nearly $3,000,000. Table 3, p. 61, shows the total output of lumber for 
1909 by counties and species, as obtained by the United States Census 
Bureau. 

Three different classes of sawmills are in operation: (1) large sta- 
tionary mills, equipped generally with bandsaws, but occasionally with 
double circular saws; (2) small portable circular sawmills, usually run 
by steam; (3) small stationary circular sawmills run by water-power. 

BAND MILLS. 

There were only seven large stationary sawmills in operation during 
1908 and 1909, and only four of these ran anywhere near full time. 
There are several other mills of this class, but they have been shut 
down for some time, owing to the recent financial depression, or to other 
causes, while there are two or three similar mills now in process of con- 
struction. This class of mills manufactured about- 16 per cent of the 
total amount of lumber cut in this region during 1909, or an average 
of about 5,000,000 feet per mill. Though this was an enormous in- 
crease over the cut of 1908, it did not nearly come up to the full ca- 
pacity of these mills. 

The successful operation of such large stationary mills must depend 
on the control of a large supply of timber, either through timber rights 
over a large area, or, more commonly in this region, by possession of 
both land and timber. Five operators in Western North Carolina to- 
gether own more than 170,000 acres of forest land in four different 
counties, and their holdings contain a stand of at least 120,000,000 feet. 

The band mills have several advantages over the smaller circular 
mills. In the first place, there is considerably less waste in manufac- 
ture ; the kerf cut by a band saw is about one-half of that by a circular 
saw ; large logs can be much more profitably handled because full width 



N. C. GEOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC SURVEY. 



PLATE IV. 




A. Logging white pine and hemlock, Mitchell county. 




B. Binding poplar boards for export, swain county. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 



61 



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62 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

boards can be taken out of even the largest logs; lumber is usually 
less damaged and is, therefore, more salable. Lumbermen claim that 
an average saving of 10 per cent of the timber is affected by using a 
band mill. Moreover, because these mills are on railroad lines or on 
private spurs connected with the railroad, the lower grades of lumber, 
which with the portable mills are either wasted or sold at a low price 
for local use, can be readily disposed of. Yet the large stationery mill 
has one disadvantage as compared with the smaller mills, a probable 
higher cost of logging, because of a longer haul to mill which necessi- 
tates a costly logging railroad. The cost of such roads must be charged 
against every thousand feet of lumber. To reduce the cost per thousand 
some operators use material that is too small or too defective to be 
manufactured with profit. Hence, immature trees, especially of the 
more valuable species, such as poplar, ash, and linn, are cut and manu- 
factured, though they have less value than they would have as standing 
trees with the chance to develop to good merchantable size, not count- 
ing at all their protective value to steep easily-eroded hillsides. 

PORTABLE MILLS. 

Kather more than 78 per cent of the lumber is sawed by small port- 
able mills. There are about 300 such mills in the 16 western counties, 
with an average annual production for each mill of about 350,000 feet. 
These mills are usually owned and operated by men who own no tim- 
ber land and either buy enough for a short run or else cut the timber 
for the owner, charging $3 or $4 per thousand for sawing. In some 
cases, however, one man owns several of these small mills, and cuts 
wherever timber can be purchased. These have made more uniform 
profits than other lumbermen in the region. The average cost to mills 
is from $3 to $5 a thousand for cutting and logging, and from $3 to $4 
for sawing. 

The cost of hauling lumber to the railroad varies according to dis- 
tances, road conditions, and kind of lumber, but averages about 40 
cents per mile per thousand feet. Except for hauling, lumber can be 
sawed cheaper than by the large stationary mills, but the difference is 
somewhat balanced by the fact that the large mills generally load their 
stuff directly on the cars. 

A combination of the band and the portable mills will probably be 
found to work to greater advantage, both to the operator and the forest, 
than either of them does alone. In many parts of the country portable 
band mills are being used to great advantage, the value of the lumber 
being increased while the cost of logging is decreased. The profitable 
use of portable mills requires good roads. The construction and main- 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 63 

tenance of. good roads by either the State or counties would not only 
favor the use of portable mills, but would increase the value of all 
property, farm as well as forest, by cheapening the transportation of 
the products. 

WATER MILLS. 

Scattered all over the region, but mostly in the better settled com- 
munities, are small water-power sawmills, cutting from 30,000 to 40,- 
000 feet of lumber a year. Most of these are connected with grist mills 
and are operated only occasionally, cutting chiefly for local custom, 
though a few have a fairly large cut and ship the best of their lumber. 
Though there are from 100 to 150 water mills in these mountains, they 
produce only about 5 per cent of the total output of lumber, and most 
of this is consumed in the neighborhood where it is cut. A water-power 
mill is of great advantage because no man is needed to fire an engine, 
and two men can run it. But the power is too uncertain for commer- 
cial operations of large size, and will not be generally used so long as 
there is sufficient waste to provide fuel for the engine. In these moun- 
tains there are still to be found a few water mills fitted up with the 
old fashioned sash saws (up and down saws). Some men prefer them 
to the circular saw because they have such simple gear that there is 
little loss in power transmission. 

Whip sawing, or, as it used to be called, pit sawing, is still practiced 
in a few counties, and some of the best quality poplar and linn squares 
that are shipped out are cut in this way, and hauled 20 or 25 miles 
to the railroad. 

TANNING EXTRACT. 

It was not until ten years ago that chestnut wood, which for thirty 
or forty years had been used in France in the dyeing of silk and the 
manufacture of leather, was used to any extent in this country. Then 
plants were established for the manufacture of tannic acid extract from 
chestnut all through the Eastern States. Several factories were put up 
in Western North Carolina, chiefly in connection with tanneries. One 
plant near the Tennessee line in Cherokee County closed out because 
of bad location and poor management, but four other factories are now 
operating at Andrews, Canton, Pisgah Forest, and .Asheville; and an- 
other at Old Fort, just outside, uses material from this region. 

Practically all of the 94,500 cords of chestnut wood cut in this region 
in 1909 was consumed by these five factories. According to the United 
States Census Bureau, the tanneries in North Carolina used eighteen 
million pounds of tanning extract made from chestnut wood; the re- 
mainder of the output, amounting to probably three-fourths of the total, 



64 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 



was shipped outside of the State. When this industry started, chestnut 
wood could be bought for $2 a cord delivered at the railroad, and for 
two or three years it did not bring more than $2.50 a cord; the price 
has, however, gradually increased until now $4 is paid. 

Table 4 gives the approximate amount of chestnut wood cut for tan- 
ning extract in the various counties in 1909. It will be seen that the 
counties without railroad facilities furnish none of this product. 



Table 4. — Output of Chestnut Tanning Extract Wood in 

by Counties. 



), in Cords op 160 Cubic Feet, 



Counties 


Cords 


Counties 


Cords 




10,500 




13,485 


Clav 




9,142 




990 
15,360 

2,826 
13,039 

8,510 
18,080 




582 










Mitchell 


2,090 


























Total 


94, 584 











The greater part of the wood is cut and delivered to the railroad by 
the small farmers during the season when there is not much to do 
on the farms. The factories will buy any grade of wood so long as it 
is sound, large enough, and sufficiently straight to be used with their 
machinery. Dead trees as well as defective live ones can be used, and 
much timber for which there is no other market is sold for this pur- 
pose. The methods of getting the wood to market vary. In some 
cases it is hauled down the slope in the log, in others cut into shorter 
lengths and "ball-hooted" (rolled) down to the place where it is cut 
into five foot lengths and split; in still other cases it is cut and split 
on the slope and sent to the bottom in portable Y-shaped troughs. The 
split wood reaches the railroad by wagon hauls or by flumes, the latter 
being much cheaper. On account of the weight of the wood and its 
comparatively low price, long hauls are not possible. The average 
haul is from two to three miles to the railroad or flume, though where 
roads are good, chestnut wood is sometimes hauled as far as eight or 
ten miles. The approximate cost of delivering wood at the station is 
about as follows: cutting, logging, and splitting the wood, $1.50 a 
cord; hauling to the railroad, 50 cents a cord per mile. Where large 
logging operations are going on, cord wood is often brought out over 
the tram road. 

The process of extracting the tannin is about as follows : The wood 
is put into a chipper or "hog," which chips it up into small pieces from 
one-fourth to one-half inch thick, and not over an inch in length. From 



FOKEST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 65 

the chipper it is carried to large vats. Through these vats boiling water 
is circulated for about 24 hours, being pumped from one vat to the 
next. The liquid thus obtained is finally boiled down under pressure, 
until enough water is driven off to obtain an extract of the desired 
strength. In this form it is shipped in tank cars to all parts of the 
country. For export the liquor is still further boiled down till the 
tannic acid crystallizes and forms a powder. This is shipped in bar- 
rels or sacks. An average of 70 gallons of the liquid extract, contain- 
ing about 8 per cent pure tannic acid, is secured from each cord of 
wood. 

The value of this industry, not only to the people but to the forests, 
is not fully realized. The total stand of chestnut in the region is about 
three billion board feet. Probably not more than 10 per cent of this 
can, under present market conditions, be profitably used for the manu- 
facture of lumber, so that there are at least five million cords of chest- 
nut wood now standing. The greater part of this timber is over-mature 
and deteriorating in quality, so that the longer it is left standing the 
greater will be the loss. The tannin industry allows the utilization of 
this material. This utilization, when properly carried out (see Man- 
agement, p. 78) means that land now covered with such trees and there- 
fore producing nothing can be made to grow new and better crops of 
chestnut. 

PULP WOOD. 

Small amounts of pulp wood, chiefly poplar and linn, have been cut 
and shipped from the mountain region of North Carolina to, pulp mills 
in adjoining states for the past ten years or more. Three or four 
years ago, however, after the Champion Fiber Co., of Canton, Haywood 
County, began buying wood, the industry became important. This 
company, which operates the only paper manufacturing plant in West- 
ern North Carolina, uses some nine different species of timber, em- 
ploys more than 600 hands, and converts into paper practically all the 
pulp wood cut in this region, besides a large quantity of chestnut ex- 
tract wood. 

Five different classes of wood are used by this factory, all of them 
being manufactured by chemical processes into the better quality of 
magazine paper, while "screenings" and other waste are made into 
coarse, heavy wrapping paper. It is planned to make each cord of 
wood produce, on an average, a thousand pounds of pulp. As each 
class of pulp wood, in this region, is handled in a somewhat distinc- 
tive way, and the production of each has a somewhat varying effect 
upon the forest, these classes are separately described. 
5 



66 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 



Chestnut. — Chestnut furnishes nearly half of the wood used for pulp 
by this factory. By the process invented a few years ago by Omar 
Carr, the Champion Fiber Company now manufactures into pulp the 
wood from which they first extract the tannic acid. The wood is 
bought in the open market, coming chiefly from points along the Mur- 
phy branch of the Southern Railway on which this plant is situated. 

Table 5 gives the approximate amount of pulp wood cut in 1909, 
exclusive of chestnut, which is included in table 4, by kinds and counties. 
As with chestnut extract wood, only those counties that have railroad 
facilities market this material. 



Table 5. — Output of Pulpwood in 1909, in Cokds of 160 Cubic Feet, by Classes and Counties. 



Counties 


Poplar 

and 

Basswood 


Pine 


Hemlock 


Spruce 

and 
Balsam 


Total 




Cords 


Cords 


Cords 


Cords 


Cords 




1,000 


100 


750 




1,850 


Clay 








10 

540 

150 

1,948 

2,860 

4,000 

1,350 

250 

20 




75 

1,503 

229 

5,438 

16,990 

20 




85 









2,043 








379 




1,141 


6,000 
16, 240 


14, 527 




36,090 




380 
150 
315 
110 


4,400 






1,500 








1,065 




630 




760 








Mitchell . 


200 








200 














































Totals. 


12,328 


2,696 


25, 635 


22, 240 


62, 899 







*A large part of the chestnut tanning extract wood is also manufactured into pulp. 

The five foot sticks into which the wood is cut are first sawed into 
20-inch lengths, for convenience in handling. The bark, with any 
dark or decaying wood, is then chipped off by the "barkers" ; this bark, 
along with that taken from the hemlock, is then carried to the vats, in 
which it is boiled for the extraction of tannic acid. After this is ex- 
tracted the refuse is taken to the engine house, and used as fuel. The 
trimmed sticks of chestnut are cut into small pieces by the "chipper," 
and after the tannin has been extracted the chips are screened to get rid 
of dark knots or other pieces that would injure the paper, and reduced 
to pulp by the soda process. 

Spruce. — Practically all of the spruce, which includes from 20 to 30 
per cent balsam, is cut by the company itself from the mountains of 
Haywood and Jackson counties where the Champion Fiber Company 
controls thousands of acres of spruce timber. Logging is done in much 
the same way as for the production of lumber, though the altitude at 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 67 

which the spruce forests grow and the steepness of the slopes necessi- 
tate some variation in method. In one operation, tree-length logs are 
pulled up one side of a mountain by steam skidders at the top. Here 
the trees are cut into log lengths, skidded to a log slide, down which 
they plunge to a yard some thousand feet below. In the yard, the logs 
are cut and split into blocks, and put into a flume which carries them 
six or eight miles to the railway. In another operation skid roads are 
made about fifty yards apart on the side of the mountain, and the 
logs are "ball-hooted" into these skid roads, then taken by teams to a 
narrow gauge railroad which carries them to a mill, where they are 
cut into lengths and quartered, and then shipped to the pulp mill. It 
can readily be understood that such operations are quite expensive, and 
probably would not be carried on by the company if a sufficient supply 
of this kind of pulp wood could be assured at the present price, $6 a 
cord at the railroad. 

This industry is the only one that is using spruce and balsam to any 
extent and probably the only one which can afford to cut or buy spruce 
under prevailing conditions. This cutting is leaving the spruce forests 
in very poor condition. All trees down to four inches in diameter are 
cut, and those smaller than this are generally so broken and crushed 
that they can never be thrifty. Then also, fire is likely to get into the 
cutover area and destroy not only the young growth but all the vege- 
table matter in the soil, so that little but the bare rock remains. If 
fires can be kept out, the "slash" will eventually decay, and a second 
growth of balsam and spruce may come in. The only hope for this 
southern extension of the spruce forests seems to be in keeping out fire. 

Spruce and balsam, which furnish about one-fifth of the wood used 
for pulp, are treated by the sulphite process. The white color and long 
fiber of the wood give a good quality of paper without bleaching. 

Hemlock. — Ten to twenty years ago millions of feet of hemlock tim- 
ber were cut and left lying in the woods to rot, the bark alone being 
sold to the tanneries; this was done because of the low price of hem- 
lock lumber. Only within the last few years has hemlock become prom- 
inent as a source of pulp, and only since the establishment of the mill 
at Canton has it found a market in this region. . 

Af the present time, where transportation facilities are adequate, the 
wood is worth two or three times as much as the bark on it. One cord 
of peeled wood at the railway is worth, on the average, $6.00, whereas 
formerly this cord would have furnished 1-3 of a cord of bark worth 
about $2.35. 

Approximately two-fifths of the total amount of pulp wood marketed 



68 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

in this region in 1909 was hemlock. This was cut principally by the 
pulp company itself. Local operators usually peel hemlock, because 
both the bark and the wood then dry out better, making transportation 
charges less on account of the decreased weight, and also because the 
bark and the wood will bring better prices when sold separately. Most 
of the readily accessible hemlock has been cut, so that the greater part 
of the future output of this class of pulp wood will probably be taken 
out in connection with some large lumber or cordwood operation where 
a flume or dummy line is used. Hemlock wood, like the spruce, is 
treated by the sulphite process. 

The demand created by this industry is of great advantage to all 
who own hemlock stumpage. Although it pays better to convert the 
better class of timber into lumber than into pulp, yet there is a large 
proportion of wind-shaken and small timber (30 to 50 per cent of low 
grade in many stands) which pays better as pulp. Some operators 
even claim that it is more profitable to cut hemlock indiscriminately 
for pulp. Even in a lumber operation there is generally a large amount 
of hemlock timber that can be disposed of for pulp wood which would 
otherwise be wasted. This demand therefore makes possible a close 
utilization of hemlock, and avoidance of waste. The close cutting of 
this species is of value to the forest, for usually there are other better 
species to take the place of the slow growing hemlock. 

Poplar. — Poplar pulpwood, locally called "soft" wood, includes pop- 
lar, linn, buckeye, and cucumber. About 20 per cent of the pulp wood 
now consumed is of this class. No distinction is made between the 
species, and all four may be mixed in the same cord. These soft woods 
are treated by the soda process, and because of the light color of the 
wood make a very good quality of paper. The timber when cut is 
usually peeled in the woods. The peeled wood brings at the railroad 
an average of $5 a cord, while the wood with the bark on is worth 
from fifty cents to a dollar less. These woods peel readily when they 
are cut in the spring and summer, which is a disadvantage in that it 
not only prevents profitable winter work, but it discourages sprout re- 
production. 

As all the species of this class of pulp wood make valuable lumber, 
with the possible exception of buckeye, only such trees as will not make 
a good grade of lumber are usually used for pulp. Two different quali- 
ties of this soft wood timber are used : first, the lops and tops left after 
lumbering, and the hollow and otherwise defective mature trees, to- 
gether with the slab waste at the mill; and, second, immature second 
growth. A close utilization of the timber is of great advan- 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 69 

tage to the forest and to the operator, though there are two distinct 
drawbacks. First, it occasionally happens that a defective tree is 
needed for seed, either to prevent the occurrence of a blank or to favor 
the reproduction of poplar, linn, or cucumber as against that of less 
valuable trees. Secondly, the marketing of young immature trees, 
which when larger will furnish valuable lumber, may not always be 
the most profitable use to make of them. Young poplar trees under 
12 inches in diameter are growing very rapidly, and it is a question 
whether it would not pay better to allow them to grow than to cut them 
at this stage for pulp. However, where a permanent market for this 
class of material is assured, and adequate fire protection is afforded, a 
short rotation of these quick growing soft wooded trees for pulp can be 
profitably practiced. 

Pine. — At present pine forms between 4 and 5 per cent of the pulp 
wood used in Western North Carolina. Up to a year or two ago its 
use was only experimental, but it has passed beyond this stage. A1-. 
though all the species of pine common to the region have been used„ 
the greater part of the cut in the past year or two has been white pine 
and old field pine.* Pine is usually shipped with the bark on, because 
it is hard to peel by hand. In this condition, it brings an average of 
$3.50 a cord delivered at the railroad. It is usually treated by the 
soda process, but makes a rather dark colored pulp even when bleached. 
Little white pine is available for this purpose in the mountain coun- 
ties, so that its use is not likely to be very much extended. The old 
field pine or "jack pine," as the buyers often call it, is quite abundant 
through the French Broad Valley and in several other parts of the 
mountains. The increase in the use of second growth pine for pulp 
will probably mean a steady market for this material. This steady 
market will be a great help to farmers in this part of the country, 
because many old fields which are too poor or too subject to erosion 
to grow corn are able to produee pine. A stand of pine 30 to 40 
years old will probably be found the most profitable crop on such areas. 

TAN BARK. 

The tanbark industry, except for a few cords each year to supply the 
small local tanneries, started about 20 years ago when several large 
tanneries were established in the western Piedmont region, and began 
to draw much of their supply from the mountains to the west. It was 
not, however, until eight or ten years ago, when plants were established 
within this region, that any general demand for bark arose. Since 

•Old field pine i3 the general name for second growth short leaf, pitch pine and scrub pine coming 
up in old fields 



70 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 



that time the supply of tanbark has rapidly diminished until now it is 
restricted to the rougher and more inaccessible districts, and the price 
has nearly doubled. 

Table 6 shows the approximate amount of tanbark cut in 1909 by 
species and counties. Considerable bark was cut in the counties remote 
from railroad facilities; the high price justified a long haul. 



Table 



-Output of Tanbark in 1909, in Cords of 2,240 Pounds, by Species and 
Counties. 



Counties 


Chestnut 
Oak 


Hemlock 


Other 
Oaks 


Total 




Cords 


Cords 


Cords 


Cords 


Cherokee ._. 


2,000 


250 


700 


2,95 


Clay 






240 
3,775 
2,014 
2,194 

750 
2,250 
2,460 
2,595 

480 


313 
1,020 

400 

253 
1,084 

350 




553 


Swain 


665 


5,460 




2,414 




180 


2,632 




1,834 


Transylvania 




2,600 






2,460 




325 

646 

200 

1,400 

1,000 


825 


3,745 




1,126 






200 


Mitchell... 


230 




1,630 






1,000 










Alleghany 


1,000 






1,000 










Totals 


20, 088 


7,246 


2,370 


29, 604 







Eive large tanneries, at Andrews, Sylva, Hazelwood, Asheville, and 
Rosman, are in operation west of the Blue Ridge. Their combined an- 
nual consumption of bark amounts to about 24,000 cords, which comes 
mainly from this region, and takes practically the entire output. Only 
a few thousand cords, chiefly from the easternmost counties, go to out- 
side tanneries. 

About two-thirds of the bark from the mountain counties is chestnut 
oak. This tree has been cut and peeled for bark on most of the lands 
within 15 or 20 miles of the railway, except such as have been reserved 
by lumber companies, and sometimes by the tanning companies them- 
selves. So far the bulk of the chestnut oak bark has been cut and 
marketed by farmers, who got for this product nearly $180,000 in 1909. 
Chestnut oak, as well as black and white oak, and, occasionally, scarlet, 
red, and Spanish oak, are peeled in the spring from the time the buds 
first begin to swell to the time the leaves are fully formed, chiefly dur- 
ing April and May. After being peeled, the bark is allowed to dry out 
thoroughly, so that it will keep when stacked away in bulk, and so that 
it will be light for hauling, which is done through the summer, gen- 
erally after the crops are "laid by." Yet at present prices — about $8.50 



N. C. GEOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC SURVEY. 



PLATE VI. 




TANNING INDUSTRY. 

A. TANNEBY OF COVER & SONS, ANDREWS. 

B. Unloading bark prom cars and storing in shed. 

C. A LARGE CROP. STACKING SURPLUS BABK IN THE OPEN. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 71 

per cord at the railroad — there is little clear profit, though it furnishes 
ready money for work at a time when men and teams would otherwise 
be idle. 

In Table 3 "chestnut oak" may include many others, because some 
counties did not differentiate the species. The price of black oak aver- 
ages about $5.25 per cord delivered at the railroad, and white oak runs 
about 50 cents more. If the demand for the bark of these two oaks 
would justify an increase in price, the bark could be utilized in con- 
nection with lumbering. As it is now the bark is nearly all wasted 
because it will not pay to save it. 

Hemlock bark, though forming only about one-tenth of the annual 
consumption in the region, comprises about one-quarter of the output. 
This discrepancy is due to the fact that much of the bark from the 
eastern counties, which produce mostly hemlock, goes to the tanneries 
outside this region. Formerly much hemlock was cut for bark and the 
timber wasted; recently, however, hemlock has been cut for lumber 
and the barl$ wasted. In some logging operations, in which the wood 
was used for pulp, the bark, although peeled, has been left on the 
ground and wasted, presumably because the price of $7 per Cord does 
not justify the extra cost of handling. It would be advisable to carry 
on the production of hemlock pulp wood and of hemlock bark together, 
for the waste of bark is too great an item to be overlooked in a modern 
operation. 

The percentage of tannin varies considerably with the species. Hem- 
lock contains from 8 to 10 per cent, while black oak contains 11 to 12 
per cent, and chestnut oak 12 to 13 per cent. The price of the bark is 
not regulated entirely by the percentage of tannin, though this has a 
good deal to do with it. The presence or absence of certain coloring 
matter in the bark has considerable influence on its value for tanning. 
The value of black oak bark is lessened by its color, whereas that of 
chestnut oak is enhanced, because it gives the "oak color" which is 
wanted for the best leathers. The tannin in all barks is soluble even in 
cold water. Tor this reason bark is seldom transported to the railroad 
by flumes, though in one case at least the bark was tied to the top of 
bundles of boards which were being flumed, and in. this way kept dry. 
Some tanners claim that as much as 25 per cent of the tannin is 
leached out by running bark down flumes. It has been estimated also 
that during a wet summer, unless the bark is thoroughly protected from 
rain, as much as 20 per cent of the tannin is lost. If bark is packed 
so that rain does not run through it, it will keep without deterioration 
for several years. . 



72 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 



Bark peeling is a declining industry, and will cease with the exhaus- 
tion of the mature timber. Chestnut oak and hemlock grow but slowly, 
and the bark of young trees is comparatively thin; prices will rise, but 
the increasing use of tanning extract from other materials will sup- 
plant bark. 

MINOR TIMBER INDUSTRIES. 
TIES. 

!No ties are shipped out of this region, chiefly because of the high 
freight rates, and only enough ties are produced to supply local de 
mands. Hewed ties are got out by small farmers who deliver them on 
the railroad right of way, where they are taken up by the company. 
Many of the small sawmills cut ties out of the timber which will not 
make good lumber. During the past two or three years, while the 
Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Eailway was under construction, many 
small sawmills cut nothing but ties, but this large production has now 
practically ceased. Only first class white oak ties (which include those 
made from chestnut oak and post oak, as well as locust, walnut, sassafras, 
and cherry), are in demand. Prices for white oak ties in 1909, in 
the mountains, averaged 33 to 35 cents for first class ties, and from 
20 to 25 cents for second class ties. Actually, however, a small propor- 
tion of chestnut and red oak ties are often used in railroad construction, 
while trolley roads frequently purchase chestnut ties exclusively. Log- 
ging roads, being temporary, generally use for ties those trees that are 
not wanted for lumber. 

Table 7 gives the approximate number of ties cut in this region in 
1909, but does not include those cut by lumber companies for their own 
roads. 



Table 7. — Output of Cross Ties in 1909, by Species and Counties. 




Counties 


White 
Oak 


Other 
Species 


Total 




Number 


Number 


Number 




10,000 




10, 000 


Clay 
































1,000 
12, 000 
22, 500 
20,000 
36,000 

1,600 
10, 000 
29, 500 




1,000 






12, 000 






22,500 






20, 000 






36,000 






1,600 




5,000 
7,500 


15, 000 


Mitchell 


37, 000 






























Totals 


142, 600 


12,500 


155, 100 











FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 



73 



POLES. 



For the past few years the chestnut pole market has been very de- 
pressed, as some of the largest consumers have been doing little buying. 
Table 8 gives the output of poles for those counties of the region in 
which poles were cut for the market. 



Table 8. — Output of Poles, Pins, Shingles and Miscellaneous Material in 


1909, by Counties. 


Counties 


Chest- 
nut 
Poles 


Oak 
Pins 


Locust 
Pins 


Shingles 


Miscellaneous 
Products 


No. 


Thou- 
sand 


Thou- 
sand 


Thou- 
sand 


Thou- 
sand ft. 
B. M.* 


Cords** 




450 






200 


200 




Clay.... 




















170 


















5,000 
5,060 


700 
5,000 


500 


150 
115 

1,200 




420 




30 


10 




























780 

730 

14 








1,287 
















25 
100 
150 






700 
4,300 








Mitchell. 




100 


170 
200 
250 
150 


44 


Watauga 






Ashe 




































Totals 


16, 797 


5,700 


600 


3,959 


692 


644 







♦Includes handles, pump logs, poplar bowls, spools, bobbins, etc. 
♦♦Includes dogwood shuttles and kalmia pipe blocks. 

Prices of poles range from 75 cents to $3.35 for sizes varying from 
22 to 45 feet in length, and these prices have varied but little for the 
past two years. At these prices young chestnut timber will bring two 
or three times as much for poles as for tanning extract wood. Only 
the straight and comparatively small trees, however, are suitable for 
poles. 

If the demand is sufficient the production of chestnut poles will be 
one of the most important timber industries of this region, for with 
improved methods of management a large number of poles per acre 
can be produced in a comparatively short time. 

PINS. 

In past years the manufacture of locust insulator pins was a wide- 
spread industry, but there has come about an exhaustion of the old 
timber in all but the remote forests and a sudden decline in the demand. 
During the summer of 1909 hundreds of thousands of split locust pins, 
cut one to two years before, were lying in the woods, and manufactured 
pins were stored in sheds, waiting until a rise in price would justify 
their removal. About the year before some mills began making oak 



74 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

"screw boxes" which are used over an iron pin. These can be made 
much more cheaply than locust pins, and are, in many cases, displacing 
them. 

Locust pins 18 inches long, 2 inches by 2 inches, bring $7 per thou- 
sand at the yard, whereas oak pins 18 inches long, 1 1-2 inches 
by 1 1-2 inches are delivered at the mill for $3. Table 8 shows that 
pins were cut in only three counties during 1909. 

SHINGLES. 

Shingles are cut only for local consumption, and very few find their 
way into the open market. Shaved shingles, and, to a large extent, 
split shingles, have been superseded by sawed shingles. These are often 
made by the small custom sawmill, though some mills cut nothing but 
shingles, and others confine themselves to the manufacture of shingles 
and laths. Some sawmills cut up their cull lumber, for which there is 
little sale, into shingles, which sell readily at the mill for $3 to $3.25 
per thousand. Shingles are, however, usually cut from blocks, which 
are sections of logs the length of the shingle. White pine and yellow 
pine are preferred where these woods are available, though the larger 
proportion cut in this region are of chestnut and the various kinds of 
oak. Table 8 gives the approximate number of shingles cut in the 
various counties in 1909. It also gives under "Miscellaneous Products" 
the output of timber for several small industries during the same 
period. 

MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS. 

The manufacture of hickory handles is on a small scale, due largely 
to the scarcity of suitable timber. The requirements as to quality are 
still so exacting that little old growth timber can be used, and second 
growth is scarce, especially in the better forested counties. A price 
equivalent to from $25 to $35 per thousand feet board measure is paid 
for suitable stuff. Hickory timber is usually neglected in lumbering 
operations, because the rigid inspection keeps down the profit. 

Along the Murphy Branch a few small logs are cut and shipped to 
Bryson City for manufacture into porch columns and pump logs. Pop- 
lar, linn, cucumber, bellwood, sourwood, sassafras, and sweet gum are 
used. Logs vary in length from 6 to 10 feet. Prices range from 3 3-4 
cents per running foot for 8-inch logs to 7 cents for 11-inch logs. Logs 
over eleven inches bring from $10 to $12 per thousand feet log scale. 

The turning of howls from poplar blocks is a small industry. The 
blocks are made by cutting the logs into sections the length of the 
diameter of the log and then splitting them in half. In this form they 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. LO 

are delivered at the mill. From $10 to $15 per thousand feet log scale 
is paid for these blocks at the mill. 

A small factory has recently been started in Mitchell County for the 
manufacture of specialties used in textile manufactures. Bobbins, 
skewers, and spools are made from beech, birch, and maple left on 
areas after lumbering. Clearer rolls are made from cull poplar and 
other suitable woods. Logs down to 8 inches in diameter, 8 feet long 
are used, for which an average price of $5 per thousand feet log scale 
is paid. 

For many years dogwood has been cut for the manufacture of shut- 
tles. Small portable mills cut the wood into blocks of varying sizes, 
the ends of which are generally dipped in paraffin to prevent checking. 
In this form they are usually shipped out of the State, some of them 
being exported to France. Some dogwood blocks are hauled 40 miles 
to a shuttle mill at Westminster, South Carolina. Dogwood brings 
from $6 to $8 per cord at the yard, but the demand at present is very 
limited, while the supply is nearly exhausted. 

Two small mills cut blocks from the stumps or burls of the Kalmia, 
or mountain ivy for the manufacture of tobacco pipes. These burls, 
which weigh anywhere from 5 pounds up to 600 pounds, are brought 
in by the surrounding farmers, who receive about $5 a ton for them. 

TKANSPOKTATION. 

RIVERS. 

Some 15 to 25 years ago, before the development of the present sys- 
tem of railroads, much of the finest poplar timber in these western 
counties was taken out by floating it down the streams. That was also 
before the present high price of timber and the waste involved in such a 
method of transportation made it prohibitive. The logs were cut and 
put in the small creeks and either allowed to remain until high water 
took them out, or else were splashed out by a system of dams. When 
the logs reached the river, their transportation depended entirely upon 
the natural rise of the water. Often millions of feet of the finest tim- 
ber remained in the rivers to rot on rocks and shoals. The rivers are 
no longer used for this purpose, and the smaller streams only to a very 
limited extent. The water courses in these mountains have too rapid 
a fall and are in consequence too rough to allow the use of this method 
under present market conditions. 

RAILROADS. 

Several standard gauge railroads traverse the region. The Southern 
Railway runs in eight of the sixteen counties, while the Carolina, Clinch- 



76 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

field and Ohio, the Blue Kidge and Atlantic, the Louisville and 
Nashville, and the Tennessee and North Carolina Railways all enter 
the region. A narrow gauge road, the East Tennessee and Western 
North Carolina Railroad, crosses Mitchell County from the Tennessee 
line to Pineola. All these roads handle large quantities of forest prod- 
ucts, and render possible the profitable operation of such industries as 
the large pulp mill at Canton, the extract plants and tanneries at An- 
drews, Sylva, Hazelwood, Asheville, Brevard, and Old Fort, as well as 
the large lumber trade from Asheville as a center. 

To bring all the forest products, either in their raw or manufactured 
form, from the woods to these railroads, three different avenues of 
transportation are now being used, the private or dummy railroad, the 
flume, and the wagon road. 

DUMMY LINES. 

The dummy roads are temporary, usually narrow gauge railways with 
either wooden or iron rails, generally laid down for a specific lumber 
operation. There are such lines at Andrews, Judson, "Whittier, Balsam, 
Hazelwood, and Swannanoa. Some of these lines are made standard 
gauge, which gives them the advantage of not having to transfer the 
freight at the point of junction. The dummy road is usually the best 
method of handling logs for distances of over a mile and for handling 
lumber up to 6 or 8 miles, if there is enough of either to justify the ex- 
pense of construction. 

FLUMES. 

Flumes are used to a large and increasing extent in the western coun- 
ties, chiefly for the transportation of cordwood for pulp or tanning 
extract, but also to some extent for lumber. To make a flume project 
feasible, the stream should have a fairly even rate of fall and should 
contain enough water to keep the flume full. The first flumes, put in 
over 6 or 8 years ago, were "box flumes," with flat bottoms and straight 
sides. These answered very well for lumber, but it was found that cord- 
wood would jam in them and quite often force off the sides, thus cut- 
ting off all the water beyond the stoppage. This has been obviated by 
using the Y-shaped flume, which causes the wood to be thrown out as 
soon as it jams, and thus prevents injury to the sides and allows the 
water to go on down the flume. Practically all flumes in this region 
are now constructed like this, and most box flumes have been converted 
by putting the "V" inside the box. Flumes varying from 6 to 18 
miles in length are now being successfully operated at Nantahala, Cher- 
okee, Dillsboro, Addie, Swannanoa, and other points along the rail- 



N. C. GEOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC SURVEY. 



PLATE VII. 




A. Spruce pulpwood, from flume to cars. 




B. Chestnut extract wood in yard of cheroke 



E TANNING EXTRACT CO., ANDREWS. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 77 

roads, bringing out large amounts of chestnut and pulp wood that 
would otherwise be inaccessible. 

Some operators have objected to sending lumber down the flume be- 
cause they say the ends of the boards are battered or rubbed enough 
to spoil their fresh, finished appearance. This objection has been over- 
come in two ways. By one method the boards are nailed end to end 
so that in the flume there is a line of a dozen or more boards, each fas- 
tened to the one in front of it by one small nail driven through them 
both. This allows enough movement to follow the curves of the flume 
and prevents the lumber jamming while it prevents also the rubbing 
of the ends. The other method is to send the boards down the flume at 
their full length untrimmed. The trimmer is installed at the outlet of 
the flume, and can often be run by the water that comes down the 
flume. In one large flume, in a county adjoining this region, the lum- 
ber was floated down tied into bundles, and tanbark could be sent down 
at the same time on top of the lumber. 

The cost of building a flume varies greatly. Some small ones have 
been put up for $400 a mile, while others cost as high as $1,500 a mile. 
The average cost' would probably be about $1,000 a mile. The com- 
paratively large initial cost and the necessary restriction as to location 
make flume building an operation for the larger interests, and the aver- 
age man who has cordwood to deliver at the railroad depends on the 
public roads. 

WAGON ROADS. 

Probably three-quarters of all the timber is hauled to the railroad 
over the county roads, so that they are the most important avenues of 
transportation. While the movement for good roads is spreading rap- 
idly and many of the mountain counties have done much to improve 
their main highways, there is still large room for further improvement. 
The length of haul for forest products varies from a minimum of two 
for cordwood up to twenty-five miles for tanbark and lumber, and even 
forty miles for dogwood blocks. The average haul, however, is about 
8 miles, at an approximate cost of thirty-three and one-third cents per 
mile per ton. It has been calculated that in general it costs at least 
twice as much to haul timber from the stump to the railroad, as the 
timber is worth standing in the woods. 

The size of the hauling bill is mainly due to lack of good roads. 
The roads are commonly worked by the old labor tax system which re- 
quires every able-bodied man between the ages of eighteen and forty- 
five to work a certain number of days each year. A gradual change is 
going on, and various counties are trying other systems in an effort to 



78 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

secure better results. In some cases the old method has been given 
up before the new one has been found to be effective. In some counties 
the road improvement work has been placed in the hands of the town- 
ships. This has worked well in a few instances, but in others has failed. 
On the whole, it does not seem to be the wisest policy. For good roads 
are a matter of the utmost importance to the whole county, and even 
to the State, and it would therefore seem logical for the State and 
county (in cooperation) to construct and maintain at least the most 
important highways. The construction and maintenance of macadam- 
ized roads is also so expensive an undertaking that it would seem unfair 
to ask the townships to undertake it, even though they realize that the 
cost of good roads is far more than repaid by the reduction in the cost 
of transportation. 

Convicts are employed on the public roads in four counties, and the 
benefit here is marked. Every county could use at least its short term 
prisoners in charge of a man who understands road making. This 
force could be used for permanent work, and for jobs too large and too 
heavy for the average road-hand, such as blasting rocks, changing 
grades, and making causeways and culverts. Much good would follow 
at comparatively little cost. A convict chain gang need not take the 
place of the old method of working the road, but could be used as an 
auxiliary. 

A few miles of macadam road have been constructed in Cherokee, 
Haywood, and Henderson counties, and sixty miles or more in Bun- 
combe County, where, however, there is some loss in effectiveness from 
lack of proper maintenance. It seems to be the general belief that after 
a good road is constructed there is no need to repair it; yet improved 
roads wear out just as any others. The Appalachian Good Eoads As- 
sociation, organized in Asheville in the fall of 1909, gives good prom- 
ise, and a practical interest in road improvement has resulted in several 
of these counties. 

FOREST MANAGEMENT. 

Forest management is the practical application of the principles of 
forestry to the handling of forest lands. Its object is to make such 
lands continuously produce at the least cost the largest amount of the 
most valuable forest product (sawtimber, pulpwood, poles, etc.) which 
they are capable of producing. To do this it is necessary to secure a 
full stand of the most valuable species best suited to a particular area, 
and to keep them growing as rapidly as possible. 

The farmer looks beyond the present crop and keeps up the fertility 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 79 

of his farm. The orchardist plants apples or pecans, and spends money 
and time for several years without receiving any immediate returns. 
The forester looks forward in the same way, though through a longer 
span of years, for his returns. The timberland owner should harvest 
his timber crop in such a way that the capital invested in the land itself 
will not be lost, but will bring increased future returns. 

The management of a forest falls naturally under two main heads : 
(1) The removal of the timber and reproduction of the new stand; 
and (2) The care of the stand. Under (1) the following topics will be 
treated: (a) Waste in logging; (b) Injury to young growth; and (c) 
Methods of cutting to secure reproduction and to benefit the trees left. 
The methods of cutting will be given for each of the forest types which 
have been treated under Forest Description. Under (2) the following 
topics will be treated: (a) Thinnings (cuttings in young stands to in- 
crease the rate of growth and favor the more valuable trees, but which 
should also yield at least a small money return) ; and (b) Protection, 
chiefly against fire and grazing. 

Also under forest management are generally included the sale of 
timber, and forest extension, which is artificial reproduction of patches 
where the forest has failed to reproduce naturally, or of land which, 
though now bare, is best suited to forest growth. These two subjects 
are, however, so new and so little understood by forest owners through- 
out the United States that it will be clearer to treat them independently 
of forest management. 

REMOVAL OF THE TIMBER AND REPRODUCTION OF THE NEW STAND. 
WASTE IN LOGGING. 

There is great waste in the manufacture of timber, from the forest 
to the consumer. Much of this waste, however, is unavoidable under 
present conditions. Fifteen to twenty years ago thousands of the finest 
poplar trees in the mountains were cut down and only two or three of 
the best logs taken from each tree. The rest was left in the woods to 
rot. Much more recently millions of feet of hemlock timber were cut 
and left lying in the woods, only the bark being used for tanning. Such 
wholesale waste has to a large extent ceased on account of the big rise 
in the value of timber. There is, however, still much room for more 
economical methods. 

Waste in logging is of two kinds: (1) The incomplete utilization of 
the trees that are cut; and (2) the failure to cut merchantable trees 
which will probably decay or blow down before there will be another 
opportunity to log the area. 



80 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

Incomplete Utilization. 

Much merchantable timber is wasted through cutting high stumps. 
As the lower part of the tree usually makes the finest quality of lum- 
ber, the frequent loss of twenty-five to fifty board feet of this high 
grade lumber from each tree amounts to a considerable item. Where 
trees are felled with an axe, as much as twelve inches in the length 
of a log is lost in the form of chips. All timber should be cut with 
the saw, and the stumps should be cut low, rarely more than eighteen 
inches in height. 

In some operations much merchantable timber is left in the tops. 
When the cutters are restricted to definite sized logs, such as twelve, 
fourteen, or sixteen feet long, short logs are left which might be util- 
ized if eight or ten foot logs could be used. A short log, even if knotty, 
will often make ties. Such a log can be left on the last cut and cut into 
proper lengths at the mill. Much of this waste in the tops is unavoid- 
able on small operations, because the material, though merchantable, 
would cost more to place on the market than it can be sold for. How- 
ever, where a small profit may reasonably be expected from the hand- 
ling of such material it is only fair that the landowner selling stump- 
age should insist on its being utilized. 

Much loss is often incurred, especially in logging yellow poplar, from 
the breaking of the trees in felling. Poplar is very brittle and when 
felled across rocks or very uneven ground, the upper part of the tree 
is likely to be broken. This can usually be avoided by care on the 
part of the felling crew. 

Perhaps the greatest waste of timber that is going on in the moun- 
tains at the present time is in connection with the cutting of chestnut 
oak for bark. Because of its poor quality for lumber and the great 
distances to market, the logs from which the bark is peeled are very 
often left in the woods to rot. Chestnut oak makes first quality ties, 
so that if the material were near enough to a railroad to warrant its 
manufacture into ties it could be used for this purpose. In Eastern 
Kentucky this is usually done, ties often being hauled fifteen to eighteen 
miles. The low price paid for ties in Western North Carolina' does 
not warrant such a long haul. It would be much better if the owners 
of chestnut oak timber would postpone selling the bark until there was 
a market for the timber. 

On the other hand much bark of both chestnut oak and hemlock is 
wasted in lumbering operations because it is claimed that the price 
paid for this material does not warrant the trouble and expense of peel- 
ing and marketing it. If the species that are used for bark could be 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 81 

cut and peeled the spring before the rest of the area is logged over the 
bark might be got out to the railroad first and be out of the way of 
future logging operations. This has been done successfully in some of 
the hemlock forests of East Tennessee. 

Failure to Cut Merchantable Trees. 

Many trees which contain merchantable material are left standing 
in lumbering operations, because it is feared that the profit in hand- 
ling them will not be large enough. These trees are often over-mature 
and deteriorating, and will be worthless by the time the area is logged 
again. Obviously the failure to cut such trees means just as much 
direct loss to the owner selling stumpage or cutting his land as does 
the failure to completely utilize a tree which has been cut. After these 
trees die and while they are still standing, they greatly increase the 
fire danger by their tendency to scatter sparks for great distances. 

Some of the trees may be merely crooked and defective, instead of 
over-mature and decaying. In this case, though there may be no di- 
rect loss from leaving them, it is probable that the indirect loss will 
be considerable; for they generally take up a good deal of room in the 
forest and hinder reproduction and growth. 

Of course, it is difficult to induce lumbermen to cut trees yielding a 
doubtful profit, but some arrangement might be agreed upon whereby 
the stumpage price of such material might be greatly reduced or done 
away with altogether. Even if no returns at all were obtained from 
such trees the forest would be greatly benefited by their removal, be- 
cause of the lessened fire risk and increased productivity. 

INJURY TO TREES LEFT STANDING. 

Often the injury to trees left standing is so great that even where 
only the larger trees are cut the tract looks as though a clear cutting 
had been practiced. Felling a large tree into a clump of young growth 
or into a small tree to break its fall is most destructive to the forest. 
Young chestnut, poplar, linn, and other valuable trees, too small to be 
merchantable, are thus destroyed or very seriously damaged. When it 
is desirable to break the fall of a tree, only the most worthless trees 
should be chosen for this purpose. Care should be taken to fell trees 
away from healthy groups of young growth, not only to prevent the 
damage in felling, but also that the dry tops may not be a fire menace. 

In logging operations, where skidders are used, skidding lines should 
be laid out with some regard to the young growth. "With the exercise 
of a little care, suitable skid roads can be made with a minimum of 
6 



82 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

damage. Guy chains may be fastened to stumps instead of to trees, 
and the live trees saved from serious injury. 

Although much improvement has taken place in utilization in the 
last few years, the injury to young growth still continues, because the 
land owner does not realize that a thrifty forest cover adds considera- 
bly to the value of a property. 

METHOD OF CUTTING TO SECURE REPRODUCTION. 

The recommendations given under this heading can be made effective 
by the landowner only by providing that whoever cuts the timber, 
whether it be a purchaser of stumpage or his own logging crew, shall 
cut only such trees as he (the owner) or his agent have marked for 
cutting. Otherwise, but little improvement can be expected. In mark- 
ing trees for cutting a blaze should be put on the lowest possible part 
of the stump, preferably on a projecting root or buttress, as well as 
on the trunk. The object of the blaze on the root is so that the owner 
can tell whether or not any unmarked trees have been cut. It is neces- 
sary, after cutting the blaze, to stamp the wood with a hammer bearing 
a design (the owner's initial will do) which can be made by the local 
blacksmith. This stamp will make it difficult for the felling crew to 
cut unmarked trees by imitating the owner's mark. The blaze on the 
trunk need not be stamped, because its object is merely to enable the 
man doing the marking to tell from a distance whether or not a tree 
has already been marked, and, to a certain extent, to help the felling 
crew. 

The following recommendations will give the owner an idea of the 
general principles which should guide him in marking the trees to be 
cut on each forest type. Although there will be variations in type 
which it will be impossible to cover fully, yet an understanding of the 
principles involved should enable the owner to figure out such prob- 
lems for himself without difficulty. Before studying the recommenda- 
tions for any one type it will be well to look up that type in "Forest 
Distribution by Types" in order to be familiar with the tree and con- 
ditions on the type. 

Spruce Forest. 

The spruce forest is composed almost entirely of spruce and balsam. 
As noted under "Forest Distribution by Types," it occurs on the tops of 
the mountains, and is of the utmost importance in holding moisture 
and regulating the flow of streams. It would serve the interests of the 
State better if kept as a protection forest and cut only lightly or not 
at all. But since it is all privately owned, this is out .of the question. 
The best that can be expected is that the owner will cut with as much 



FOKEST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 83 

regard for the public interest as is consistent with his legitimate profit, 
and in such a way that the land will be kept permanently forested. 

The object of management should be to secure adequate reproduction 
of these two species. The present methods of cutting do not secure this 
result. The practice of cutting down to four inches in diameter removes 
practically all the seed trees from the cutover areas, and the careless de- 
struction of most of the trees below this size removes the greater part 
of the young growth, which would in time become large enough to bear 
seed. The sole dependence, therefore, for reproduction under present 
conditions is in the seed that has already fallen or that is scattered dur- 
ing the process of cutting. Even this reproduction is seriously menaced, 
for the seedlings, which prefer a light shade, are often either deprived 
of shade altogether or are smothered out with the dense tops and leaves. 

In cutting for pulp, every effort should be made to save all trees under 
a merchantable size, especially the spruce. For, though the small 
growth may be scattered irregularly over an area, even single trees will 
serve as centers from which an area can be re-seeded. Large trees, how- 
ever, are liable to be thrown by the wind if left singly in exposed places, 
on account of their shallow root system. For this reason the plan of 
leaving groups of young trees, some of which are seed bearing, is 
strongly recommended. 

The following considerations should govern the choice of groups : 

First, the trees comprising the group should be the most vigorous in 
the stand, those most likely to live a considerable period of years and 
resist windthrow. 

Second, each group left should be so situated that the prevailing 
wind will blow from the group toward the opening bare of reproduction 
which it is desired to seed up. 

Third, groups should be distributed as evenly as possible over the 
area, though there should be more groups where reproduction is poor 
or lacking than where good patches of reproduction are found. 

Fourth, the size of the groups will vary with the situation. In a 
sheltered hollow where the danger of windthrow is not great, three or 
four trees or even less may suffice, whereas on exposed slopes or ridge 
tops a group of fifteen or twenty or even more trees may be necessary to 
insure mutual protection. 

"Where the stand is composed of groups of trees, each group of a 
different age, the system of cutting should be different from that pre- 
scribed above. Here only the groups of larger trees should be cut, 
and the groups of smaller and younger trees, about 6 inches in diam- 
eter (at breast height) and under should be left. But small suppressed 



84 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

trees which occur in a group of larger trees should he cut with the rest 
of the group. The result will he scattered openings surrounded by 
young growth, instead of scattered groups of trees surrounded hy clear 
cut areas as under the first case. 

The most important consideration in any logging operation in the 
spruce forest, even of far more importance than the system of cutting, 
is protection against fire. Fire is extremely destructive in any class 
of forest, but particularly so in spruce. In hardwood forests some of 
the seedlings killed may come up again by sprouts, in spruce forests 
new seed must fall and germinate; in hardwood forests a fire injures 
the base of the larger trees and kills the smaller ones, in the spruce 
forests a fire kills all trees outright; in hardwood forests a fire greatly 
damages the forest fioor and hinders the growth of trees, in spruce for- 
ests a fire utterly destroys the forest floor and banishes the very pos- 
sibility of the existence of a forest. 

The safest means of obviating the danger of fire caused by the in- 
flammable material left after logging is to pile and burn all the brush, 
burning with every precaution and at a time when fire is least likely 
to spread. This, however, would cost from 25 to 50 cents per thousand 
feet cut, and is therefore hardly to be expected of the lumberman, par- 
ticularly where the timber is difficult of access and expensive to log 
at best. The most effective alternative, and one costing but little, is to 
lop the branches from the tops so that they will lie flat on the ground. 
In the State Forest Preserve counties of New York the cost of lopping 
the tops is only ten cents per cord; and many operators find that this 
cost is counterbalanced by the timber saved and by the greater ease 
in skidding. The result is that the brush will rot and cease to be in- 
flammable in about three or four years, whereas if left just as it fell 
it will be a fire menace for ten or fifteen years. In addition to lopping 
the tops, the owner should guard carefully against the occurrence of 
fire while logging is being carried on. He should provide beforehand 
that any fires which do start shall be immediately extinguished. 

Hardwood Forest. 
The chief object of management in the hardwood forest, as in the 
spruce forest, is to secure adequate reproduction. Since many of the 
hardwoods reproduce largely from sprouts, methods of handling will 
differ to some extent from those suited to the spruce forests. Fire is 
still the greatest enemy to be combated, and must have continued atten- 
tion. The results of a single fire are not so disastrous for the future 
prospects of a crop as in the spruce forest, because of the power of 
many of the hardwoods to grow again from the roots after once being 



FOKEST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 85 

killed to the ground by fire. This power, however, is possessed more 
especially by the inferior species. Burning, in the hardwood forest, 
though rarely destroying the whole forest cover, greatly injures its 
permanent value by favoring the growth of less desirable kinds of 
timber through making it very difficult for the more valuable species 
to reproduce themselves. Lumbering by the present methods also has 
a very strong tendency to increase the percentage of the least desirable 
trees in the second growth, by cutting too closely the more valuable 
kinds without proper provision for seed trees or other means of repro- 
duction. Two methods of cutting timber in the hardwood forests may 
be practiced, the selection method and clear cutting ; the selection system, 
however, is the one best suited to most conditions of this region. 

Selection Method. — A rough form of the selection system of cutting is 
now being practiced on most areas which are being logged in these 
mountains, though in a few cases, near towns, where the sale of firewood 
justifies it, an approach to clear cutting is occasionally practiced. 

Where the selection system is practiced as a forestry method, only 
such trees are cut as are financially mature, that is, those that have 
attained to such size that the largest amount of money can be realized, 
counting interest on the capital invested. This size varies according to 
the species of tree, its location, and the various market demands for that 
species. For this reason, in a forest composed of many different species, 
only a few trees per acre are likely to be mature at the same time. By 
cutting out these trees space is made for the better development of the 
remaining trees, and for the growth of reproduction between them. 

Clear Cutting. — Clear cutting is applicable only in even-aged or 
approximately even-aged forests. The method may be carried out in 
one of three ways: (1) by two or three successive cuttings a number of 
years apart, leaving the area covered with young growth after the last 
cutting; (2) by cutting everything in one operation, relying on sprouts 
for reproduction; (3) by cutting everything with the exception of a 
few seed trees which are left for reproduction. The first form of the 
method is recommended only where the forest is so near a market that 
cuttings which do not remove the bulk of the timber in one cut will pay. 
The method can not be applied in any form unless. there is a demand 
for the small as well as for the large material. An example of the second 
form of the method is around the iron furnaces in Mitchell County. 
Here the forest was cut clean and has since reproduced itself from 
sprouts. For the present the chief use of this method will be around 
towns, brick kilns, or other places where small material can be marketed, 
and, to a certain extent, on smaller woodlots. Cases of clear cutting in 



86 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

order to use the land for agriculture do not come under this method, for 
their purpose is not the reproduction of a future forest. 

The selection of seed trees, coming under the third form of this 
method, is of the utmost importance. Even where there seems to be ade- 
quate seedling reproduction already on the ground, the future forest 
crop should be assured by saving some seed trees. This is made advis- 
able on account of the great risk from fire. Should the first crop of 
seedlings be destroyed there could be no second crop if no seed trees 
were provided. Though the present provision for reproduction may be 
adequate, the risk in removing all trees that could furnish seed is too 
great to be incurred. 

Seed trees should be chosen with regard to their special fitness to re- 
seed the area in question. Where possible they should be strong, healthy 
young specimens with full crowns and having plenty of light and mois- 
ture. Such trees not only produce the best seed, but they are the most 
profitable to retain on the land because of the rapidity of their growth. 
They should be trees exposed to the wind so that the seed will be scat- 
tered as far as possible. There is great temptation often to reserve for 
seed trees such specimens as are not salable, such as hollow, crooked, 
broken, or diseased trees. Damaged trees do not yield a large quantity 
or a good quality of seed, and make comparatively poor seed trees. It 
may, however, be advisable to reserve such trees. Crooked and forked 
trees, if sound and healthy, make good seed trees. If, however, a second 
cutting is expected during the life of the seed tree, it would probably be 
best to leave trees that will grow rapidly into valuable timber. 

The hardwood forest may be divided into four types: the plateau, 
the chestnut (subdivided into ridge, slope, and cove), the red oak, and 
the beech and maple. The management for each of these types will be 
given separately. 

Plateau type. — Most of this type is owned as small woodlots (small 
areas of forest land on farms). Therefore the management should aim 
to furnish the various classes of material needed by -the owner himself 
and by the local market, as well as to keep the land as productive as 
possible. 

There are several forms of forest common to this type, each one re- 
quiring slightly different management, because the variation of species 
makes it necessary to vary treatment of the forest. Where the forests 
are composed entirely of hardwood species, represented mainly by black 
oaks, in most cases any tendency of the more desirable species to repro- 
duce should be encouraged. Yellow poplar, if present at all, should be 
given every opportunity to reproduce, by leaving seed trees wherever 
possible, and by keeping out fires. Chestnut and hickory are both val- 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 87 

liable trees, and reproduction from these, both seedling and sprout, 
should be encouraged. Since black oak, because its growth is fairly 
rapid, is possibly the most valuable of the oaks in this type, it may be 
favored over other oaks. Sprout reproduction of the desirable species 
may be encouraged by cutting during the winter and spring. The least 
valuable species can be discouraged by cutting them in the summer, 
thus weakening their sprouting capacity. Seedling reproduction is en- 
couraged by leaving seed trees of the desired kinds so placed over the 
area that the most valuable species will seed up those areas best adapted 
to their growth. 

All old trees except those necessary for seed trees should be removed, 
if the sale of the material can be made to pay the cost of removal. As 
a great part of the forests of this type are in the form of farmers' wood- 
lots, much of the old timber can be cut for firewood and other domestic 
purposes. The great object in these woods should be to substitute 
healthy, thrifty growing trees of the more valuable species for the old, 
slow growing cull trees, which now occupy a large part of the forest. 

Where shortleaf pine is present in these forests this tree should be 
favored in all the poorer situations, as it grows fairly rapidly, and 
early attains merchantable size. Many of the present hardwood stands 
would be greatly improved by converting them into shortleaf pine 
stands, and this should be the object of management where poplar, 
chestnut, and hickory do not thrive. This conversion may be accom- 
plished in a large measure by leaving three or four good seed trees to the 
acre of shortleaf pine. Seedlings of this species will thus take the place 
of the hardwoods when they are removed. Such converted forests are 
seen throughout this type, and form some of its most valuable stands. 

On areas where pure pine stands occur, shortleaf should be favored at 
the expense of pitch pine and scrub pine. Shortleaf seeds readily, and 
there should be no difficulty in re-seeding a second growth forest contain- 
ing a large percentage of shortleaf, if seed trees of this species are left 
and the other pines cut close. Where white pine occurs in this pure pine 
type, its reproduction should be encouraged in every possible way. 

In certain parts of the plateau type white pine flourishes, and is one 
of the most rapid growing trees. These trees should be encouraged in 
all lumbering operations by leaving seed trees, and by protecting any 
white pine which has already started in the forest. There are many 
areas both in the old fields and in the cutover forest, where white pine 
forms a large percentage of the stand, and in all such areas it is the 
most valuable tree that can be grown. White pine does not bear seed 
abundantly, but the seeds scatter a long distance, so that two or three 
trees to the acre should be sufficient. 



88 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

Many of the old fields in this type have come up to fairly dense stands 
of the three or four common species of pine, collectively known as old 
field pine. Many of these stands are being cut over for both pulp and 
firewood. The land is then either cleared and cultivated or allowed to 
make another growth of forest. If the area is needed for agriculture, 
special steps should be taken to insure its early seeding to shortleaf by 
saving a few trees to the acre. 

With pine as with spruce, protection against fire is the first step in 
forestry. 

Chestnut type. — The two trees most characteristic of this type, 
chestnut and yellow poplar, are also the most valuable, since there is 
a large and increasing demand for both. Chestnut is used for lumber, 
tanning extract, pulp, telephone poles, and ties; poplar is used for 
lumber and pulp. Both trees grow rapidly while young, and early at- 
tain merchantable size. 

The type may be divided, as under Forest Description, into three 
sub-types, Ridge, Slope, and Cove. Since each of these sub-types re- 
quire somewhat different systems, each will be treated separately. 

Ridge. — The two predominant trees in the ridge sub-type are chest- 
nut and chestnut oak. Since chestnut is the more valuable tree of the 
two the object should be to increase its proportion in the stand. It 
should, however, not be made into a stand of pure chestnut, because 
pure stands are much more subject to ravages by insects and blights 
than are mixed stands. 

Sprouts, in an ordinarily thrifty stand of chestnut, can be depended 
upon for reproduction. But in this case many of the trees are so old 
and damaged by fire that they would probably give but poor sprouts 
and sometimes perhaps none at all. Therefore, an increase of seedling 
reproduction, both to keep the stand fully stocked at present and to 
form a basis for sprout reproduction in future cuttings, is essential. 

The best method of securing seed reproduction of chestnut is to make 
numerous small openings, not over 100 feet in diameter, by the re- 
moval of chestnut oak and other less valuable trees, leaving as much 
of a fringe of chestnut around each opening as is possible. The open- 
ings can not be made large because chestnut, being heavy seeded, does 
not scatter its seed any distance from the mother trees.* When suffi- 
cient seedling reproduction has come into the opening another cut 
can be made. If the chances for sprout reproduction are favorable, 
this cut will remove the remainder of the stand ; if, on the other hand, 
sprout reproduction will be unreliable, and more seed reproduction is 

*An exception is the carrying of seed by squirrels and other rodents, who either lose it or bury it and 
then forget it, giving it a chance to germinate. But this agency can not be depended upon. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 89 

needed, part of the stand should be left for seed, and may be taken 
later at a third and final cutting. 

This system, however, will be practicable only where the forest is 
so accessible that cuttings yielding comparatively small volumes per 
acre and repeated at 5 to 15 year intervals will pay. 

It will probably more often be necessary to make large openings in 
order to secure a larger cut per acre. In this case the trees left should 
be the younger and more vigorous ones of whatever species. It will 
be advisable, of course, to leave as large a proportion of chestnut as 
possible in order to seed up the area. 

When cutting is done in the late fall (after the leaves have turned 
or fallen) and in the winter, and where there are enough trees which 
are not too badly damaged to produce good sprouts, it may be possible 
to make practically a clear cutting leaving a few seed trees of chest- 
nut, chestnut oak and possibly yellow poplar. 

This, however, can not be done in the spring and summer without 
injury to the future stand and even sometimes risking its existence. 
Chestnut cut in the spring and summer sometimes produces fair sprouts, 
but never as vigorous ones as do trees cut in the late fall or in the 
winter, and sometimes produces none whatever. Summer is the worst 
season for sprouting; even such sprouts as are produced in summer 
are often killed back by autumn frosts before they have been able to 
form woody tissue. As a general rule, therefore, large openings, even 
almost clear cuttings with seed trees, will be safe (though not the 
best form of management) in the fall and winter, but very unsafe in 
the spring and summer. 

Wherever .chestnut oak is found there is generally an abundance of 
seedling reproduction on the ground. If, however, this advance re- 
production is absent, a few seed trees to the acre left after cutting 
should suffice; because chestnut oak generally reproduces excellently by 
seed. 

Where hickory is present it should be encouraged. Wherever in cut- 
ting in the autumn and winter hickory is found and is sufficiently vigor- 
ous to reproduce by sprouts, it should be cut ; because second growth hick- 
ory is valuable whereas first growth hickory is not.. If it is unlikely to 
sprout, and there is no seedling reproduction around it, the hickory 
might as well be left for seed. 

Great damage is suffered by this forest from hogs. These animals eat 
the chestnuts and acorns, and thus prevent seedling reproduction. They 
should be excluded for a few years before cutting, during cutting, and 
after cutting until the new forest has become fully established. 



90 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

Slope. — There are many valuable trees on the slopes, though chestnut 
and poplar will have the most certain future value. The object of man- 
agement, therefore, should be to procure abundant reproduction of these 
two species. In most cases chestnut can be reproduced adequately by 
sprouts. This tree should always be cut in the winter or spring, and 
never during the late summer and early fall. Poplar will reproduce by 
sprouts from young trees, but older trees lose this power of sprouting. 
Seedling reproduction, therefore, should be obtained wherever possible. 
Poplar should be saved to the last in logging, so that the seeds may be 
scattered over the area that has already been lumbered. By cutting the 
chestnut and other species first, opportunity will be given the poplar to 
seed and the chestnut to sprout. 

Red oak, white oak, and hickory are valuable and should be encour- 
aged over such trees as black oak, black gum, and maple. Red oak is 
probably the most valuable oak for the mountain slopes, as it grows 
rapidly and makes a very fine quality of lumber. It reproduces chiefly 
by seed, so that hogs should be excluded from the forest for some time 
before and after lumbering. Seed trees of this species should be left 
where there is not sufficient poplar and chestnut to thoroughly restock 
the area. 

White oak, though slow growing, is of great value for barrel staves. 
The seedlings of white oak require more light than those of red oak, 
and may be secured effectively by leaving seed trees in fair sized openings 
(100 to 200 feet in diameter). To secure seedlings of red oak the stand 
should be left at about half density. 

Part of the Slope sub-type contains a considerable mixture of hem- 
lock. In future forests this tree should not be allowed to form part 
of the main stand (its crown at the same height as that of other trees), 
but should be kept in the understory. It thrives in the shade, and if 
kept under the main stand where its crown does not interfere with 
other trees, it serves a useful purpose in keeping the forest floor in 
good condition, and also in furnishing a little addition to the regular 
forest crop. In general, lumbering operations where large openings are 
made, and the bulk of the reproduction is to be from sprouts it will be 
well to leave a few hemlock seed trees. Sprouts grow so rapidly at first 
that they will be in no danger from the hemlock seedlings. These seed- 
lings will endure under the shade of the sprouts and form a valuable 
understory. 

Linn reproduces almost entirely by sprouts from stumps. Large 
sprouts often form about the bases of mature trees. These sprouts 
should be protected in lumbering as much as possible. Cattle should 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 91 

also be kept from the woods during and after logging where any attempt 
is made to reproduce this species, as they destroy all that they can reach. 

It is very important to keep hogs out of this sub-type before, during, 
and after lumbering of the ridge. 

Cove. — The mountain cove is the home of the yellow poplar, and of 
the chestnut. Other important trees are white oak, red oak, ash, linn, 
hickory, and cucumber. The most profitable tree to grow is yellow 
poplar, and the next is chestnut. White oak and ash should also be en- 
couraged because, although slow growers, their wood is of great value. 
ISTone of these trees should be discriminated against, because all are of 
considerable value. 

Poplar should be reproduced by seed because only the younger trees 
sprout. With chestnut it will generally be safe to depend upon sprout 
reproduction except when the trees are cut in the spring and summer. 
The method of cutting should, therefore, be to leave poplar seed trees 
either in the middle of or alongside of large openings of about 200 feet 
in diameter. If it will be jjossible to cut again within 10 years, the 
large mature trees can be left, because not only will they yield large 
quantities of seed, but in all probability they will also greatly increase 
in value. If no cut is expected for a period longer than 10 years, it 
will be advisable to leave the most vigorous young trees, which are but 
of small value for lumber or pulp now, but which will grow rapidly 
and will yield the seed necessary to fill the openings with young poplar. 
Where logging extends over a period of a year or more the poplar should 
be cut last, thus allowing it to at least partly seed up the area opened 
up by cutting the other species. 

With chestnut cut in the fall and winter it will be possible to make 
very large openings or nearly clear cuttings, except for leaving the 
straightest young trees to grow to telephone poles. These should be 
left in groups wherever possible so that they will continue their height 
growth instead of becoming branchy. When cutting is done in the 
spring and summer a certain amount of seedling reproduction of chest- 
nut must be secured to make up for the poorness of the sprouts. The 
openings should then be made smaller. 

White oak and ash must be reproduced chiefly from seed. The seed- 
lings of both species need light. Therefore the method of cutting to 
secure this reproduction will be to make an opening around a seed tree. 
It will be better to leave a vigorous young tree than a defective old one 
in the opening, because, although the quantity of seed may not be as 
great, yet the smaller tree will interfere less with reproduction coming 
up under it, and can be utilized in a future cutting. The opening for 



92 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

white oak need not be large, generally not over 100 feet across, because 
the acorns are heavy and most of them fall almost under the crown of 
the tree. The opening for ash may be two or three times as large be- 
cause ash seed is light and is carried by the wind. 

Hogs and cattle should be kept out just before cutting and for five 
years or more afterwards. Hogs prevent the reproduction of chestnut 
and oak by eating the chestnuts and acorns; and cattle destroy the 
sprouts of many species. 

There is ordinarily less danger from fire in this sub-type than in 
others because of its moist condition. Strict precautions must be taken, 
however, against fire, especially after cutting, when there is dry slash 
on the ground. 

Bed Oak Type. — Although this type is of little importance at pres- 
ent, because of the altitude at which it occurs, the inferior quality of 
its timber, and the steepness of its slopes which make it difficult to log, 
yet it will be just as well to give some idea as to how it should be cut. 
The method of cutting will be of importance because the steep slopes 
which make the forest of less value from a logging point of view, make 
it of even greater value in controlling stream flow. 

Eed oak reproduction is the first consideration in any method of cut- 
ting in this type. This reproduction must come almost entirely from 
seed, and seedlings come in best in the half shade of the parent stand. 
Therefore, unless the ground is already well stocked with seedlings, which 
is sometimes the case, it will be unsafe to make large openings or to cut 
clean, leaving only a few seed trees. The surest method of securing re- 
production is to cut from one-half to two-thirds of the present stand, 
leaving the younger and more vigorous trees as evenly distributed over 
the area as possible. These trees will insure a restocking of the area 
and will prevent erosion and the consequent damage to streams. They 
can be cut when the area is logged again, in 40 or 50 years, or in less if 
the opportunity arises. 

Wherever chestnut and linn are encountered in logging they should 
be cut and small openings made around the stumps, so as to give them 
an opportunity to send up vigorous sprouts. 

Hogs and cattle must be kept out before and after cutting, to insure 
the reproduction of red oak and linn. 

Beech and Maple Type. — Although beech and maple are the most 
abundant trees in this type, they are of far less value than the less com- 
mon trees which occur in mixture, the linn, buckeye, cucumber, chest- 
nut, and cherry. Unfortunately lumbering removes only the more val- 
uable trees and leaves the beech and maple to seed up the area, with the 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 93 

result that the second growth of this type contains an even smaller pro- 
portion of the more valuable species. 

The problem, then, is to find a market for" the beech and maple. 
Maple is largely used in the ISTorth for furniture and veneer. In the 
United States as a whole more than one million cords of beech, maple 
and birch are used annually for wood distillation, at an average price 
of $3 per cord. These industries might profitably be introduced into 
the North Carolina mountains. Beech and maple could then be cut, 
leaving the more valuable species to seed up the area and thereby in- 
creasing the future value of the forest. 

CARE OF THE STAND. 

The care of the stand falls naturally under two headings: (1) thin- 
nings and other cultural operations; (2) protection against fire~ graz- 
ing, wind, insects, etc. 

THINNINGS. 

A thinning is a light cutting, generally in a young stand, to remove 
trees which will never amount to anything or which are hindering more 
valuable trees. In Europe, where forestry has long been established and 
intensively practiced, thinnings are one of the most important forest 
problems. In the United States, however, they need scarcely be consid- 
ered for the present, except in small pieces of forest, such as farm wood- 
lots. In these woodlots thinnings should be of considerable value. 

All the crooked and poorly formed trees, and all trees which have 
been so crowded that they would be unable to recover even if given 
sufficient light, should be cut. All trees of inferior species which are 
interfering with more valuable trees should also be removed. Where 
two trees of equal value are crowding each other the less promising one 
should be taken and the better one left. 

The result will be threefold : first, the proportion of valuable species 
will be increased ; second, the rate of growth of the stand will be greatly 
increased ; third, a certain amount of material for fence posts and cord- 
wood will be obtained. Thinnings are, therefore, decidedly worth while. 
It may be well before cutting, even when the owner does the cutting 
himself, to mark the trees to be taken. This avoids, confusion and gives 
some idea of what the stand will look like after the operation has been 
completed. Thinnings may be made every ten to fifteen years, or as 
often as enough material can be cut to pay for the operation. 

If the owner has a little spare time it will often pay him to go into 
a stand of coppice five to fifteen years old and cut out the crooked 
sprouts and the sprouts of inferior trees interfering with those of more 



94 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

valuable ones. This will greatly increase the proportion of valuable 
trees in the final-stand, and will stimulate growth, although it will prob- 
ably not yield much immediate return in material. This operation is 
called a cleaning. 

PROTECTION OF THE FOREST. 

Fire and stock are the two principal enemies of the forest, and do vast 
amounts of injury every year. Outside of these and the damage caused 
by indifferent handling, the forests of this region are subject to but little 
injury. In some parts of the State, large areas are being destroyed by 
insect pests, but in Western North Carolina no such general destruction 
has taken place. Small patches of second growth pine are occasionally 
destroyed by bark beetles, which usually spread from some tree which 
has been weakened by injury. Such a "deadening" may be checked by 
cutting down and burning during the winter months the bark of trees 
which are infested. The presence of insects is discovered by exudations 
of pitch on the outside of the tree. Several of our hardwood trees are 
more or less injured by insects, notably the chestnut by borers. Borer 
holes are so common in chestnuts that there is a recognized grade of lum- 
ber called "wormy" chestnut. A large part of this, however, is due to the 
previous injury of the tree by fire, so that the prevention of insect 
attacks can to a certain extent be effected by stopping forest fires. 
Decay, due to fungi, is found in many forest trees, chiefly white pine 
and red oak. There is little that can be done under methods of forestry 
now practicable to lessen the injury from this cause, though the cutting 
out and close utilization of trees affected by fungus tends to lessen the 
chances of its spreading. 

Wind occasionally blows down a few trees, though the injury from 
this cause is less in the mountains than in any other part of the State. 

Along the tops of the ridges and in other exposed places, sleet fre- 
quently breaks the timber considerably, allowing the easy entrance of 
insect and fungus diseases. Nothing, however, can be done to prevent 
this, though the encouragement of species of trees in second growth that 
are the least easily broken, would in time tend to reduce the damage 
from this cause. 

Fire Protection* 

Fire is the greatest destroyer of the forest, yet no organized effort has 
ever been made in this State to prevent or control it. It has been esti- 
mated that during 1909 the owners of forest land in North Carolina lost 
at least half a million dollars through fires. In the mountain counties 



*For a fuller discussion of this subject the reader is referred to Economic Pacer No. 19 of the North 
Carolina Geological and Economic Survey, "Forest Fires in North Carolina During 1909." 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 95 

alone the estimated loss was more than $6,000 per county. These esti- 
mates do not include the indirect loss, such as the destruction of young 
growth and the impoverishment of the soil. It is probable that from 15 
to 30 per cent of the forest area of several of the counties is burnt over 
annually. Much of this is burned over intentionally, and, though there 
is some sentiment against this practice, yet the feeling is not strong 
enough to prevent it. Forest fires rarely kill mature hardwood timber, 
except probably in the spring after the sap has started to rise. For this 
reason it has often been asserted that the timber is not injured by an 
ordinary leaf or ground fire. This is far from being so, however, for 
it has been estimated that the value of the standing chestnut timber 
alone in this region has been reduced by at least $2,000,000, chiefly 
through damage from fire. 

Nevertheless, the chief damage is not to the mature timber, but to 
the young growth and reproduction. Over a large part of this region 
yellow poplar and other valuable species have been prevented from re- 
producing in the second growth forest by the burning of leaves and the 
consequent killing of the seedlings when one or two years old. The 
total damage from this cause can not be estimated, though it is surely 
very great. For instance, a twenty-year-old stand of yellow poplar will 
yield fifteen cords of pulpwood an acre, worth at least $2 a cord or $30 
an acre. If this stand is killed by fire when it is two years old, there 
will be no direct loss of anything which has a present market value. 
But the owner will lose property which in 18 years would have yielded 
him $30 an acre. If a man owns 100 acres of this land he will have 
practically nothing in 18 years (unless the stand reproduces again) 
whereas if he had protected his land against fire he would have had 
$3,000. 

Burning the woods always results in serious injury to the soil. With 
farm land the owner occasionally has to put back in the form of ferti- 
lizer what he takes out of the soil in the form of crops. In the forest 
the trees fertilize the soil with their leaves. Therefore fire, by destroy- 
ing the leaves, makes the soil poorer year by year. The loss of the 
leaves also allows free course for the surface water and rain to flow off, 
washing away the richer surface soil. This results not only in the 
slower growth of the timber, and a decrease in value of the land, but 
it is a serious menace to land owners and water users all along the 
streams, through the increase of floods and the deposition of sand and 
silt. 

The way to stop fires is to prevent them from starting, which can 
probably best be done by patrol. In this the State can take the leadinsr 



96 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

part by passing laws providing for a fire protective system and making 
an adequate appropriation to operate it. In the absence of effective 
forest fire legislation the State, as well as private owners of timber- 
land, can do a great deal in educating the public to be careful in the 
use of fire in dry seasons, and to extinguish forest fires ^before they 
get too large to be easily controlled. In New Hampshire and some of 
the Northwestern States, particularly Washington and Oregon, timber- 
land owners have formed protective associations for patroling the for- 
est. The cost is pro rated, and amounts to from one to three cents per 
acre per year. 

Among the effective measures for preventing forest fires in Western 
North Carolina, in addition to patrol, are lookout stations, fire lines, 
and liberal posting of warning notices. Lookout stations are very ef- 
fective supplements to patrol. Located on prominent elevations they 
are a means of detecting fires at long distances as soon as they start. 
The best lookouts are connected by telephone with central points. Thus 
fires can be reported by the watchman quickly, and men hurried to 
them. The effectiveness of fire -lines and warning notices is discussed 
in Economic Paper No. 19 of the North Carolina Geological and 
Economic Survey, "Forest Fires in North Carolina During 1909." 

Fire Laws. There is immediate need for a Statewide law for the 
protection of the forests from fire. The following points are suggested 
for consideration in framing such a law: (a) A fire warden system 
with a strong and active organization to prevent and extinguish fires 
and enforce all the forest laws; (b) regulations requiring the rail- 
roads to take certain measures to prevent fires; (c) amendments which 
will effectively restrict the use of fire by private individuals. 

(a) The fire warden system should have at its head a State Fire 
Warden authorized to appoint, upon the recommendation of the county 
commissioners of any county, one or more fire wardens in each town- 
ship where there is enough woodland to make such an appointment 
advisable. The wardens should be subject to the call of the State 
Warden, when, in his judgment a dangerous season exists. Their du- 
ties would include patrol ; posting warning notices ; extinguishing forest 
fires; investigation of the causes of all forest fires and the collection 
of evidence sufficient to convict offenders against the forest laws. They 
should report at regular times, in addition to reporting on all forest 
fires. They should be authorized to summon help in fighting forest 
fires, and should be given the power of arrest without warrant. They 
should be directly responsible to the State Warden to whom they re- 
port. Prosecutions for setting fires or other infraction of the forest 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 97 

laws should be instituted by the State Warden. This would largely 
prevent such prosecutions being attributed to personal motives. 

(b) Many forest fires are set by sparks from railroad locomotives 
and by the careless burning of rubbish along the tracks by section 
hands. Unfortunately, there has been little disposition on the part 
of the railroads to take any steps to prevent these fires. This indiffer- 
ence has in part been due to the indifference of the owners of forest 
land along their lines. The railroads would probably be willing to 
cooperate in the prevention of fire, if these owners showed more in- 
terest in fire protection. A law requiring the railroads to keep a strip 
100 feet wide on each side of their track clear of all combustible ma- 
terial would tend to prevent a great many fires started by railroads. It 
has been found from careful investigation that most of the sparks from 
a locomotive engine fall between 50 to 100 feet from the road bed; 
therefore, if such a strip were kept clear, fires resulting from sparks 
would be far less frequent. But since the right of way owned by the 
railroads does not always extend to this width, there might be diffi- 
culties in the way of such a law. The railroads could, however, se- 
cure the owner's consent to enter on adjoining lands in order to clear 
off the combustible material to this width; and in case the owner re- 
fused, the railroad could be relieved of responsibility for any fire 
which it might start on his land. 

Many States have been forced to pass stringent laws requiring the 
railroads to use spark arresters on all of their locomotives. One or 
two logging operators in this region use spark arresters in their en- 
gines with fairly satisfactory results. Wherever these have been used 
there has been great objection to them on the ground that they cut off 
too much draft. This defect will no doubt be overcome in the near 
future and their use become general. The American Spark Arrester 
Co., of Indianapolis, Ind., are now conducting what promise to be suc- 
cessful experiments along this line. The present development of these 
devices, however, warrants their use in emergencies; and a law might 
be framed so that their use would be compulsory only in dry weather,, 
when every precaution is made necessary. 

(c) Most of the serious forest fires in the mountain counties have 
been set by men carelessly burning brush and rubbish in dry weather 
in the spring. These men, many of whom are only renters and have 
little or no property of their own, can not be controlled by the present 
fire laws. Therefore, a new law prohibiting the burning of brush 
during dry seasons unless very thorough precautions are taken to pre- 
vent the spread of fire, is needed. Such a law, made effective by re- 

7 



yb FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

quiring that persons burning brush in the dry season shall obtain a 
permit from the fire warden, is in force in several States and is work- 
ing well. 

PEOTECTION FROM STOCK. 

The forests of North Carolina have suffered very severely from the 
indiscriminate ranging of stock. In the eastern part of the State, the 
reproduction of long leaf pine over vast areas has been largely pre- 
vented by hogs. Even in the hardwoods in the western part of the 
State, serious damage has been done, and is still being done by both 
cattle and hogs. The injury from stock varies according to the age 
and condition of the forest. The most serious injury is done during 
the first few years after lumbering, when young growth is starting. 
Cattle are extremely fond of linn sprouts, and will effectively prevent 
the reproduction of this species after lumbering. They also browse 
on the young poplar, and, if numerous, will break and bite off the 
shoots of many other species. Hogs eat large quantities of chestnut," 
oak, and hickory seed, and may often prevent seedling reproduction of 
these trees. Both hogs and cattle should always be excluded from cut 
over lands and from areas of second growth until the trees are too 
large to be injured. In a fully stocked second growth forest, or in 
mature timber where reproduction is not yet desired, the injury done 
by stock is not great. 

The most serious injury from stock has been an indirect one. The 
practice of burning the woods for the improvement of the cattle range, 
has been brought down from the time of earliest settlement. Long ago, 
when there was little cleared land, there was some excuse for this prac- 
tice, but conditions have changed ; there is now more than enough land 
cleared and subsequently abandoned to wild growth to furnish pas- 
turage to all stock; and the introduction of Japan clover within the 
last fifteen or twenty years has turned these old fields into rich pas- 
tures. Many people, not realizing the change which the introduction 
of this plant has brought in the cattle industry, still continue to burn 
the woods, to the incalculable damage of the forests. It was estimated 
that in one of the counties of this region, for every head of cattle 
which ranges the woods, 67 acres of forest land are burnt over every 
year, and that young growth to half of the value of these cattle, is 
being destroyed by fire each year. 

The people of North Carolina have a remedy and they are grad- 
ually applying it. The stock law is a local option measure, and any 
county, township, or district can, by a majority vote, make it effective. 
It is now enforced over five entire counties in this region, and over 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 99 

the better settled portion of nine other counties. There are still, how- 
ever, two entire counties over which stock is allowed to run at large. 
But the law is being extended year by year, and before long will cover 
not only this entire region, but the whole State as well. 

SALE OF STANDING TIMBER. 

Much of the waste and destruction of young growth and reproduc- 
tion incident to the average logging operations is due to the indiffer- 
ence or carelessness of the owner. This carelessness is generally dis- 
played in the manner of making a contract or in signing the contract 
drawn up by the purchaser, or more often in having no contract at 
all. Many years ago much standing timber was sold by the individual 
tree; in some counties the marked trees are still standing, thus pre- 
venting the growth of young trees. The owner of the land is paying 
taxes on it every year, and yet he is losing the growth both on the 
trees he sold and on the other timber because no stipulation was made 
in the contract as to when these trees were to be removed. 

In selling stumpage (standing timber) the owner must understand 
thoroughly the market conditions, that is the price which each forest 
product (lumber, extract wood, pulp, poles, ties, etc.) will bring de- 
livered at the railroad. He must also be thoroughly familiar with 
the transportation problem; that is, he must know just how much it 
will cost to get the product to the railroad. He should also know how 
much it will cost to log the area which he has to sell, and how much 
to manufacture the product. In other words, he should have an idea 
of how much it will cost the purchaser to market his product and how 
much he (the purchaser) is likely to get for it. He will then know 
how much profit the purchaser expects to make and will be able to 
decide upon a price for his standing trees which shall be fair to the 
purchaser (making due allowance for risks in fluctuating markets, etc.) 
and to himself. 

It is always advisable to require the purchaser to pay on the actual 
amount cut rather than to pay a lump sum for the estimated amount 
on the area. If he (the owner) is unable himself to scale the logs in 
the woods, he can take the returns from the purchaser and check them 
by occasional visits to the woods or to the mill. 

In order to secure reproduction and provide for the future produc- 
tivity of his land, the owner should mark the trees to be cut as recom- 
mended under Forest Management, and should see to it that all these 
trees are cut and none others. He should not only provide for the full 
utilization and satisfactory removal of the timber to be cut, but he 
should also provide against unnecessary destruction of the young growth 
7 



100 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

on the ground. A contract of sale should be drafted with considerable 
care. For the protection of the seller the contract should embody the 
following points drawn up in legal form: 

(a) Define the area included in the sale. 

(b) Stipulate the price by the unit of measure agreed upon, whether 
it is cord, thousand feet board measure, number of poles, etc. 

(c) Specify the method by which the timber is to be measured. If 
the logs are to be scaled, whether Doyle, Scribner, Favorite, or other 
rule is to be used; if by lumber measure, whether log run or graded. 
If cords are used, specify whether 128 or 160 cubic feet to the stacked 
cord is intended. 

(d) Specify time limit within which operation must begin and must 
be completed. 

(e) Specify species, size, and condition of timber which is included 
in the sale. 

(f) Specify the number, kind, and quality of seed trees which are 
to be left on the area.* 

Besides the above points, the contract should include certain clauses 
to govern the cutting and removal of the timber. The following cover 
the ground fairly well, and are suggested for consideration in the prep- 
aration of the contract : 

1. Only the species and classes specified in the contract (or such 
trees as have been marked for cutting) may be cut, and all of these 
must be cut. 

2. Trees marked for cutting which remain uncut at the expiration 
of this contract shall be paid for at double the stumpage price agreed 
upon. 

3. All unmarked trees which have been cut shall be paid for at 
double the stumpage price agreed upon. 

4. All sound stumps must be cut not more than . ". inches 

above the ground, in order to save waste in timber, and all tops must 
be utilized to a diameter of inches.-]- 

5. No unnecessary damage will be done to young growth or to trees 
left standing, and no trees shall be left lodged in the process of felling. 
Any young growth or trees left standing which are badly injured or 

killed through carelessness shall be paid for at the rate of $ 

each. If it should be necessary to fell a tree into young growth, the 

This is only in case the owner does not mark the trees to be cut or the seed trees to be left. It is 
always advisable for the owner to mark these trees himself. The mere specification of seed trees in a 
contract is always unsatisfactory. 

tThe diameter of the tops should be as small as market, conditions and the accessibility of the tim- 
ber will allow. 






FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 101 

least valuable species, such as maple, gum, or beech shall be chosen in 
preference to the valuable ones, such as poplar, chestnut, or linn. 

6. Only the inferior species must be used for necessary logging pur- 
poses, such as construction of skids, slides, bridges, tram roads, flumes, 
etc., and such material must be paid for at the price agreed upon. 

7. Saw timber for flume construction will be paid for at a fixed 
price per thousand feet. Chestnut and hemlock as well as the inferior 
species shall be used for this purpose. 

8. Right of way for flumes or tram roads over the seller's land will 
be allowed to the purchaser free of charge during the life of this con- 
tract, but where they cross a road adequate and satisfactory crossings 
must be constructed by the purchaser. 

9. All improvements constructed by the purchaser on the seller's 
land which are not removed within months after the expira- 
tion of this contract, shall become the property of the seller. 

10. Fire must be kept out of the woods, the purchaser to be held 
responsible for loss from any fire on his sale area. 

11. Title to the timber shall remain in the seller until it has been 
scaled, measured, or counted, and paid for. 

FOREST EXTENSION. 

Abundant reproduction of seedlings or sprouts, or of both, is gen- 
erally obtained after cutting.* Therefore in forested land artificial 
reproduction will seldom be necessary. But land which has once been 
cleared, and which is no longer being used for agriculture, frequently 
reverts to forest very slowly. In order, therefore, to put such land 
to a profitable use and prevent its rapid deterioration through erosion, 
it may often be advisable to resort to artificial reforestation. 

Artificial reforestation may be effected by two methods : first, by the 
planting of young trees grown in a nursery; and second by the sowing 
of seed directly in the area to be reforested. 

PLANTING. 

The surest way to secure a satisfactory stand of forest trees is to 
plant the young trees. The most precarious time in the life of a tree 
is from seed to two or three years of age. This period is rendered 
safer by the use of nursery grown material. But since planting is more 
expensive than sowing, a careful study is necessary to determine which 
of these operations is best. 

Planting in the mountains should usually be done in the spring as 
soon as the ground can be worked. In this way growth starts imme- 



*In the spruce forest this is true only if fire is kept out. 



102 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

diately and the plants have a good chance to become established. The 
next best season is in the late autumn after the leaves have fallen. In 
this case the plants rest during the winter and are ready to begin 
growing the first thing in the spring. In either case planting should 
not be done while the young tree is growing. In the spring it should 
be done before growth begins, in the autumn after growth has stopped. 
If the trees are planted amongst the grass, weeds, and briars of an 
old field, some precautions must be taken the first summer to keep 
them from being choked out. Full instructions as to the methods of 
planting may be obtained by writing to the Forest Service, U. S. De- 
partment of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 

In the parts of the mountains where white pine grows naturally, as 
along the Blue Ridge and in many parts of the Plateau type, it is 
probably the most profitable tree to plant. The young trees can be 
purchased very reasonably at the principal forest nurseries, and a 
large proportion of those set out usually live. From two to four year 
old plants should generally be used. If the ground is not thoroughly 
prepared, material once or twice transplanted in the nursery is pref- 
erable to seedlings. White pine should be planted from five to seven 
feet apart each way, so that the trees will early form a complete cover 
for the ground; they will then be able to prune themselves naturally, 
make the most satisfactory growth in height and produce the best 
quality of timber. 

Throughout the Plateau type there are many areas in which short- 
leaf pine will grow more satisfactorily than white pine. This species 
has been planted in Buncombe County both pure and in mixture with 
white pine or with some of the hardwoods, and has given great satis- 
faction. Shortleaf pine seedlings are not as readily procured from 
nurseries as are the white pine, and where very considerable areas are 
to be planted it may often be advisable either to make arrangements 
with some nurseryman to raise the desired seedlings, or else to raise 
them one's self. This latter should not as a rule be undertaken, how- 
ever, unless the magnitude of the operations warrants the employment 
of a man for this special purpose. Shortleaf pine should be planted 
in the same way as white pine. These trees can be mixed alternately 
with some hardwood, preferably sugar maple. The mixture of the 
hardwood benefits the pines by causing better self-pruning, and by 
making a denser shade near the ground which keeps the soil in good 
condition. It is not usually advisable to plant shortleaf and white pine 
in mixture, as the conditions that suit one do not suit the other. 

Certain coniferous species not native to this region do very well un- 



FOEEST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 103 

der certain conditions, notably the European larch and the Norway 
spruce. These, however, should be planted at first only in an experi- 
mental way. 

Black locust is perhaps the most important hardwood tree for plant- 
ing in this region. Locust is rapidly disappearing from the forests, 
and its use for posts will make a continual demand for it. Its rapid 
growth and hardihood make it very satisfactory to plant in many situa- 
tions. 

Locust grows naturally all over the region, but succeeds best on the 
Chestnut type above 2,500 feet in elevation. Many areas when cleared 
and subsequently abandoned come up naturally to locust. It would 
often pay to fill out these scattered stands by planting, as more rapid 
height growth would be secured, and a better quality of post can be 
raised where the stand is fairly dense. A few acres of thrifty locust 
would supply a large farm with posts, and when once planted the sup- 
ply would be permanent. Locust reproduces so abundantly from 
sprouts after cutting that there would be no need to replant. It is also 
one of the best trees to hold the soil because of its long tough roots. 
Like all the pea family, the locust is a great renovator of the soil, 
taking nitrogen from the air and storing it in the soil, so that the 
longer an area stays in locust the richer it becomes. By the time a 
crop of locust planted in an old field becomes mature, the soil will be 
rich enough to grow good agricultural crops. 

Locust should be -planted from four to six feet apart each way. The 
soil should be prepared by plowing, and might be cultivated with ad- 
vantage once or twice after planting. This gives the young trees a 
healthy start which enables them to maintain a rapid growth. Plants 
can be obtained at very reasonable prices at any forest nursery. In 
the Ohio River valley there are many firms which make a specialty 
of growing locust seedlings. One-year-old seedlings may be used to ad- 
vantage where the ground is in good condition, but those two years 
old would be better in most cases. Locust seedlings may easily be 
grown on the farm by sowing the seed in drills and giving ordinary 
cultivation. 

White pine, shortleaf pine, and locust are the only species recom- 
mended for planting in pure stands in this region, though under ex- 
ceptional conditions others might be planted in a similar way. Most 
of the hardwood species do better in mixed stands. Yellow poplar has 
been planted to some extent in other States, but it has been little tried 
in "Western North Carolina. Poplar succeeds well in suitable loca- 
tions and in a fairly rich soil up to 3,500 feet in elevation. There are 



104 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

often small areas along streams or in small hollows, that might be 
profitably planted in this species, since it grows very rapidly, and is 
unusually free from enemies. When planted in such situations, it may 
be advantageously mixed with red oak, white oak, hickory, or sugar 
maple, the poplar trees themselves not making a dense enough shade 
to insure most favorable conditions. If it is used around the house 
or along the road for ornamental purposes, the ground, if poor, should 
be enriched either before or after planting. Two or three year old 
plants are recommended for general planting, though for ornamental 
and shade purposes larger trees can be used. 

Balsam may be planted above an elevation of 3,500 feet and grows 
fairly rapidly. Where the object is for ornament or the prevention of 
erosion or the protection of headwaters of streams, this tree may be used 
in such situations, but balsam has little commercial value, so its use 
cannot be generally recommended. 

Sugar maple has been planted to some extent in this region, but 
chiefly in mixture with the more valuable hardwoods and the pines, 
with the object of improving them. On account of its rather slow 
growth and small value for timber, it should not be planted by itself. In 
the more northern States sugar maple has been planted with great 
success with white pine, one plant of the latter to three of the former. 
Similar planting has been done quite successfully at Biltmore. 

Most of the other hardwood trees which are recommended for re- 
foresting, are best propagated by planting the seed where the trees are 
to remain because the large taproots, which are developed soon after 
germination, make it very difficult to transplant them. Walnut, hick- 
ory, chestnut, and all the oaks belong to • this class. Both because of 
the frailty of the young seedlings and because the seeds are subject to 
the attacks of squirrels and other vermin, it is considerably more diffi- 
cult to obtain a stand of these species than it is to obtain a stand of 
species which can first be grown in a nursery. 

SOWING. 

The only species that are generally recommended for propagation by 
sowing are the nut bearing trees, though occasionally others may be 
sown to advantage. 

Walnut has been transplanted to some extent, but much greater suc- 
cess has been attained by sowing seed where the plants are to grow. 
Walnut grows well only on rich moist soils. For this reason, and be- 
cause of its slow growth and doubtful popularity in the future, its 
general use is not recommended. 



N. C. GEOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC SURVEY. 



PLATE VIII. 




A. Sugar maple plantation, 8 years old, buncombe county. 




B. Thrifty growth of balsam plantation, at elevation of 3,800 feet, watauga county. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 105 

Hickory is a much more desirable tree to plant. The timber of sec- 
ond growth hickory brings a good price. There is no doubt that the 
rapidly increasing shortage of second growth hickory will make a per- 
manent demand for this material, and where planting of hardwoods 
is undertaken hickory should be in the mixture on all suitable situa- 
tions. There seems little choice as to the species of hickory to plant, 
but the kind that grows naturally in the particular locality would 
probably be best. 

The propagation of chestnut by either sowing or planting has met 
with little success in North Carolina. The difficulty of procuring 
sound seed, and the destruction of seed by squirrels has made sowing 
a very precarious and expensive method while the long taproot has made 
planting difficult. 

Seeds of walnut, hickory, or chestnut should be planted in furrows, 
drills, or seed spots. The ground may be prepared by ploughing a 
furrow and planting a seed in or beside the furrow, or it may be 
planted with a mattock, or even with a sharp stick without previous 
preparation. Mixtures including all of the important nut bearing trees 
are recommended for general planting, with, however, only a small 
proportion of walnut. Variations must be made to suit local conditions 
and the object for which the area is being planted. 

The oaks are best planted in seed spots, that is three or four seeds 
together in a spot of earth loosened up with a mattock. In some States 
planting the oaks by this method has been found very satisfactory. An 
alternation of seed spots of oak with hickory should prove a satisfac- 
tory method of reforesting suitable areas. If areas are well adapted 
to the growth of hardwood the different species may be mixed in plant- 
ing in such a way that an ideal proportion of the valuable hardwoods 
may be procured. 

Sowing of the pines has generally been found very unsatisfactory 
when the seed has been scattered over the area broadcast without pre- 
vious preparation of the ground. But when the ground has been pre- 
viously prepared there is a reasonable chance of success. This prep- 
aration may be made in two ways : first, the whole area may be 
ploughed and harrowed as for an ordinary farm crop; or second, seed 
spots may be prepared with a mattock. In either case the seed is 
lightly covered after being sown. The chances of success with the sec- 
ond method may not be quite as great as with the first, but obviously 
the cost is far less. 

The artificial regeneration of the spruce forest will probably not be 
attempted by private individuals because of the expense of the opera- 



106 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

tion and the uncertainty of the results. Only a large corporation or 
the State or National government can reforest spruce by planting in 
situations such as those in Western North Carolina. Experiments 
would have to be made with different species and methods. 

FOREST TAXATION. 

The tax laws now administered in North Carolina have as a rule 
not resulted in placing an excessive burden on timbered lands, and on 
this account forest taxation has not as yet become a problem. This 
fact, however, does not necessarily mean that the present method of 
taxing this class of property is satisfactory. Admittedly, it is not. 
Those who have given most thought to the subject are practically 
agreed that a tax on the timber when it is cut, with a nominal annual 
tax on the land, is probably best adapted to conditions in this country. 
Certainly this method is not susceptible to the same inequalities and 
uncertainities as is the present method. In fixing the land valuation 
under the principle proposed, the assessor is to give absolutely no con- 
sideration to the growing timber. 

While at present there is no general complaint from owners that their 
timberlands are being excessively] burdened with taxes, and conse- 
quently there seems to be no urgent need for readjusting the tax laws 
with respect to timbered lands, it is nevertheless believed that the ap- 
plication of the proposed principle of taxing the timber only when 
cut would do much to further the practice of approved forestry by 
private owners. 

BILTMOKE ESTATE. 

A report on the forest conditions of Western North Carolina would 
be incomplete without some account of the forests of the Biltmore 
Estate. This estate, purchased during the nineties by Mr. George W. 
Vanderbilt, comprises some 200 square miles of land, and extends from 
Asheville in a southwesterly direction through Buncombe, Henderson, 
and Transylvania counties to the Jackson County line, a distance of 
some 35 or 40 miles. 

Mr. Gifford Pinchot, formerly United States Forester, immediately 
on his return from his studies of forestry in Europe, was employed by 
Mr. Vanderbilt to investigate the possibilities of forestry on the prop- 
erty and to suggest a system of management. After his work was done, 
Dr. C. A. Schenck, a German "oberforster," was engaged to devote his 
entire time to the forest problems of the property. Dr. Schenck, who 
had had considerable experience in the Old Country, put into operation 
with great energy the first scientific and practical private forest man- 
agement in this country. 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 107 

The greater part of the estate was covered with forest, hut heavily 
culled and with a reduced productivity. 

The part of this property lying in the vicinity of Asheville, except 
that which has been included in the Biltmore Farms, has been known 
generally as the Biltmore Forest, which comprises some 8,000 acres, 
of which about 2,000 had at one time been cleared and had become 
abandoned old fields, is situated on a broad plateau, with an elevation 
of about 2,300 feet. The forest, here is of shortleaf and pitch pines, 
scattered through a hardwood stand of oak, with a small proportion 
of most of the other broadleaf species of the region. Because it is 
within easy hauling distance of Asheville, this forest had been severely 
culled, so that at the time of purchase there was very little merchant- 
able saw timber left. 

Owing to the scarcity of valuable timber and to its nearness to mar- 
ket, this forest was managed primarily for the production of firewood. 
About 2,500 cords a year have been cut from the poor trees, and have 
been marketed in Asheville at a good margin of profit, besides im- 
proving the stand. This utilization was made possible by the con- 
struction of a network of thoroughly good roads over this part of the 
estate. 

In addition, however, to this old forest land that was producing 
cordwood, there were some 2,000 acres of absolutely nonproductive old 
fields included in the forest. To save the annual drain of interest and 
taxes on this area, it was determined to plant it, the first efforts being 
largely experimental. Practically all the native trees of value, and 
many exotics, were tried. At present this land supports a planted for- 
est of great potential value. The most successful plantings have been 
of the native pines, white and yellow (shortleaf), and the larger part 
of the area contains a predominating proportion of these two species. 

The greater part of the Biltmore Estate lies in the mountains along 
the. western side of Buncombe, Henderson, and Transylvania counties, 
to the east and south of Mt. Pisgah and the Pisgah Range. This com- 
prises some 80,000 acres of comparatively rough forest land, with ele- 
vations varying from 2,300 to 6,000 feet, and is known as the Pisgah 
Forest. Owing to its remoteness and inaccessibility there was a much 
better stand of timber on this area, little having been taken out except 
the very largest and most valuable trees. Yellow poplar, chestnut, 
white oak, red oak, chestnut oak, black oak, hickory, maple, and linn 
are the principal trees. This part of the estate has been managed as 
a timber forest, the object being to produce saw timber of the greatest 
value. Looking toward returns from a rise in timber values rather 



108 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

than to increase in growth, practically all sound and thrifty trees over 
two feet in diameter have been saved. Though little lumbering is 
being done, improvement cuttings have been going on all the time. 
By the sale of 1,500 cords of tanning extract wood and 1,000 cords of 
tan bark annually, the removal of much old and decaying chestnut 
timber and mature and slow growing chestnut oak is accomplished, to 
make room for the young and thrifty specimens of these, or even more 
valuable, species. 

Roads and trails have been constructed in every direction. A total 
of 37 miles of main roads, 43 miles of byroads and 198 miles of trails 
make this one of the most readily accessible, as it was one of the most 
beautiful and attractive mountain forest properties in the United 
States. 

Every effort has been made to protect these forests from fire. Rang- 
ers have been employed to patrol the woods winter and summer. Not 
only this, but everyone living on or near the property has been encour- 
aged not only to report but to assist in extinguishing any fires that 
may occur. Altogether, this estate is one of the best examples of the 
application of practical forestry to be found in this country. 

APPALACHIAN NATIONAL FOREST LAW. 

A bill, providing for the purchase of forest lands by the Federal Gov- 
ernment, commonly known as the Weeks Bill, or the Appalachian Bill, 
passed the 62d Congress, and became a law when President Taft signed 
it on March 1, 1911. This law has for its purpose the protection of 
the watersheds of navigable streams, by the purchase and care of forest 
lands on the headwaters of such streams, to be held and administered 
as National Forests. The bill also provides for cooperation between 
the Federal Government and the different States in the organization 
and maintenance of systems of fire protection on the forested water- 
sheds of navigable streams. The North Carolina Legislature in 1901 
passed an enabling act for the purchase by the Federal Government 
of lands within the State. 

The law carries a Federal appropriation of two million dollars a 
year for five years for the examination, survey, and purchase of land. 
Much land in the Southern Appalachians as well as in the White 
Mountains has already been offered to the government for purchase 
and not only is the work of examination well under way, but nego- 
tiations have been entered into looking toward actual purchase. 

For the purpose of cooperative fire protection in the different States, 
$200,000 is appropriated to be available until expended. Already eight 
States, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 109 

Maryland, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, have taken advantage of this 
provision of the law to extend and strengthen their own fire protective 
organizations. North Carolina can not receive this cooperative as- 
sistance until the State Legislature provides for a system of forest fire 
protection and makes an adequate appropriation for the purpose. The 
next session of the Legislature should hy all means make it possible 
for North Carolina to receive assistance of this sort. 

The forests on the high mountains of the Appalachians should be 
protected for all time. They can be adequately protected, yet lum- 
bered, if the cutting is properly done. By protecting them, stream 
flow would be regulated, which would be a tremendous advantage to 
all those industries now using water power. The protection of the 
hardwood supply will make permanent the varied industries which 
now form such a large part of the manufactures of the State. If pro- 
tected, these Southern mountains are destined to become the chief source 
of hardwood in this country. 

An important industry in this region is the entertainment of tour- 
ists and visitors from other parts of the country and even from abroad. 
The preservation of mountain scenery is necessary if these visitors are 
to continue to be attracted by the country. The preservation of the 
streams would preserve the fish, and add one more to the many attrac- 
tions of this region. 

There is perhaps more mountain land in North Carolina suitable 
for forest management than in any other of the Appalachian States. 
Large areas in Clay, Graham, Swain, Haywood, Transylvania, Yancey, 
and Mitchell counties are still in almost unbroken forest, and the 
proper protection of such areas will be of enormous benefit. Every 
county should be interested in having at least part of the Appalachian 
National Forest within its borders. 

SUMMAET AND CONCLUSIONS. 

Western North Carolina is essentially a timber producing region, 
much the larger proportion of the land being better adapted to this 
purpose than to any other. The necessity of retaining on the moun- 
tain slopes a forest cover, which will tend to regulate the flow of the 
streams, and, therefore, be of inestimable value to the manufactures 
of this and the neighboring States, is a strong additional reason for 
preserving the mountain forests. 

Seventy-six per cent of the land is now covered with forest. It has 
been estimated that these forests have an average stand of 3,400 feet 
of timber to the acre, or a total of about 10 3-4 billion feet for the 
region, much of which, however, is too small or inaccessible at present 



110 FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. 

to be mer chant able for lumber. This timber is now being cut at the 
rate of about 330,000,000 board feet per annum, exclusive of that used 
for domestic purposes. This is considerably faster than these forests 
are growing timber, so that what practically amounts to a yearly deficit 
must be met by an increase in growth, which can be brought about only 
by improved methods of management. 

If these forest lands are looked upon as continuous and permanent 
investments, improvements in the methods of handling them are abso- 
lutely essential to make such investments profitable. There is a total 
investment in forest land of about $20,000,000, including both the land 
and the timber, in the counties under consideration. Outside of the 
increase in the value of timber, a return worth something over $600,000 
(including fire wood and fences) is received. This is equivalent to 
about three per cent on the investment, but taxes amount to over one 
per cent, so that the net income on the investment averages less than 
two per cent outside of the increase in value of the timberlands. From 
the standpoint of the private owner, this is not a highly profitable in- 
vestment, but the present profits may be maintained or increased if the 
lands are protected and properly managed. 

At present, owners are depending for profit too much on the increase 
in value of the property, and so are losing sight of the only permanent 
and regular source of profit — the annual growth of the forest. The 
object of all owners of forest lands should be to increase the annual 
growth so that the iargest income possible will be secured from the 
forest. This must be accomplished by cutting the present stand so that 
the proportion of the more valuable species in the future forest will be 
increased instead of diminished, and by providing the most favorable 
conditions for healthy and rapid growth. 

In order to bring about the necessary improvements in the forest 
conditions of Western North Carolina, the active cooperation of the 
State, the land owners, and all other persons within the region in sup- 
pressing fires is absolutely essential. 

The State should assist by every means in its power in the protection 
of property. The State should pass a good fire law and provide ade- 
quate machinery for its enforcement. Such a law should provide for 
the appointment of county or township fire wardens in accordance with 
the needs of the different counties, these wardens to be subject to a cen- 
tral State authority and given the power to arrest for violation of the 
law and to call out assistance whenever needed to fight fires. Their 
duty should be to prevent fires if possible, extinguish those which have 
started, and aid the central authority in any prosecution under the 



FOREST CONDITIONS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. Ill 

forest and fire laws. The fire law of the State should include a regula- 
tion to compel the railroads to use spark arresters in their locomotives, 
to keep their rights of way clear of inflammable material, and maintain 
a patrol to follow trains where fires are most liable to occur. The law 
should prohibit also the burning of brush during dry spring weather, 
except under proper restrictions. JSTotices calling attention to the dan- 
ger from fire and the penalties for violation of the State law should be 
posted by the fire wardens in conspicuous places throughout the region. 

The owners of forest land should be most vitally interested in the im- 
provement of forest conditions, thereby increasing the yield of their 
own forests, but they are unfortunately in many cases indifferent or 
inactive. They should aid the State authorities in fire protective 
work. Where large holdings are grouped more or less closely together, 
they should form cooperative fire protective associations and employ 
patrolmen when the fire danger is most serious. They should aid in 
the posting of fire notices, provided by the State, and prevent serious 
fires by the construction of fire lines. In addition to fire protective 
measures, private owners should endeavor to increase the value of their 
forest property by cutting so as to encourage the reproduction of the 
most valuable species. They should further provide for the future crop 
by the care of young growth during cutting and they should exclude 
stock from the forest areas during and succeeding logging operations. 
Such precautions should be taken whether the owner logs the land him- 
self or sells the standing timber to be logged by another. 

The people of Western North Carolina, whether owners of forest land 
or not, should endeavor to cultivate a sentiment in each neighborhood 
in favor of forest protection and against burning the woods. They 
^should assist in every way in their power in enforcing the State laws 
and aiding fire wardens in the performance of their duty. They should, 
if the stock law is not operative in their locality, use their influence 
toward the introduction of such a measure. 



PUBLICATIONS 

OF THE 

NORTH CAROLINA GEOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC SURVEY 



BULLETINS. 



1. Iron Ores of North Carolina, by Henry B. C. Nitze, 1893. 8°, 239 pp., 20 
pi., and map. Out of print. 

2. Building and Ornamental Stones in North Carolina, by T. L. Watson and 
F. B. Laney in collaboration with George P. Merrill, 1906. 8°, 283 pp., 32 pi., 
2 figs. Postage 25 cents. Cloth-bound copy 30 cents extra. 

3. Gold Deposits in North Carolina, by Henry B. C. Nitze and George B. 
Hanna, 1896. 8°, 196 pp., 14 pi., and map. Out of print. 

4. Road Material and Road Construction in North Carolina, by J. A. Holmes 
and William Cain, 1893. 8°, 88 pp. Out of print. 

5. The Forests, Forest Lands and Forest Products of Eastern North Caro- 
lina, by W. W. Ashe, 1894. 8°, 128 pp., 5 pi. Postage 5 cents. 

6. The Timber Trees of North Carolina, by Gifford Pinchot and W. W. Ashe, 
1897. 8°, 227 pp., 22 pi. Postage 10 cents. 

7. Forest Fires: Their Destructive Work, Causes and Prevention, by W. W. 
Ashe, 1895. 8°, 66 pp., 1 pi. Postage 5 cents. 

8. Water-powers in North Carolina, by George F. Swain, Joseph A. Holmes 
and E. W. Myers, 1899. 8°, 362 pp., 16 pi. Postage 16 cents. 

9. Monazite and Monazite Deposits in North Carolina, by Henry B. C. Nitze, 
1895. 8°, 47 pp., 5 pi. Postage 4 cents. 

10. Gold Mining in North Carolina and other Appalachian States, by Henry 
B. C. Nitze and A. J. Wilkins, 1897. 8°, 164 pp., 10 pi. Out of print. 

11. Corundum and the Basic Magnesian Rocks of Western North Carolina, 
by J. Volney Lewis, 1895. 8°, 107 pp., 6 pi. Postage 4 cents. 

12. History of the Gems Found in North Carolina, by George Frederick 
Kunz, 1907. 8°, 60 pp., 15 pi. Postage 8 cents. Cloth-bound copy 30 cents 
extra. 

13. Clay Deposits and Clay Industries in North Carolina, by Heinrich Ries, 
1897. 8°, 157 pp., 12 pi. Postage 10 cents. 

14. The Cultivation of the Diamond-back Terrapin, by R. E. Coker, 1906. 
8°, 67 pp. 23 pi., 2 figs. Postage 6 cents. 

15. Experiments in Oyster Culture in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, by 
Robert E. Coker, 1907. 8°, 74 pp., 17 pi., 11 figs. Postage 6 cents. 

16. Shade Trees for North Carolina, by W. W. Ashe, 1908. 8°, 74 pp., 10 pi., 
16 figs. Postage 6 cents. 

17. Terracing of Farm Lands, by W. W. Ashe, 1908. 8°, 38 pp., 6 pi., 2 figs. 
Postage 4 cents. 

18. Bibliography of North Carolina Geology, Mineralogy and Geography, 
with a list of Maps, by Francis Baker Laney and Katherine Hill Wood, 1909. 
8°, 428 pp. Postage 25 cents. 

19. The Tin Deposits of the Carolinas, by Joseph Hyde Pratt and Douglas 
B. Sterrett, 1905. 8°, 64 pp., 8 figs. Postage 4 cents. 

20. Water-powers of North Carolina: An Appendix to Bulletin 8, 1910. 8°, 
383 pp. Postage 25 cents. 

21. The Gold Hill Mining District of North Carolina, by Francis Baker 
Laney, 1910. 8°, 137 pp., 23 pi., 5 figs. Postage 15 cents. 

22. A Report on the Cid Mining District, Davidson County, N. C, by J. E. 
Pogue, Jr., 1911. 8°, 144 pp., 22 pi., 5 figs. Postage 15 cents. 

23. Forest Conditions in Western North Carolina, by J. S. Holmes, 1911. 
8°, 115 pp., 8 pi. Postage 15 cents. 



114 PUBLICATIONS. 



ECONOMIC PAPERS. 

1. The Maple-sugar Industry in Western North Carolina, by W. W. Ashe, 
1897. 8°, 34 pp. Postage 2 cents. 

2. Recent Road Legislation in North Carolina, by J. A. Holmes. Out of 
print. 

3. Talc and Pyrophyllite Deposits in North Carolina, by Joseph Hyde Pratt, 
1900. 8°, 29 pp., 2 maps. Postage 2 cents. 

4. The Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1900, by Joseph Hyde 
Pratt, 1901. 8°, 36 pp., and map. Postage 2 cents. 

I Takes up in some detail Occurrences of Gold, Silver, Lead and Zinc, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Cor- 
undum, Granite, Mica, Talc, Pyrophyllite, Graphite, Kaolin, Gem Minerals, Monazite, Tungsten, 
Building Stones, and Goal in North Carolina. 

5. Road Laws of North Carolina, by J. A. Holmes. Out of print. 

6. The Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1901, by Joseph Hyde 
Pratt, 1902. 8°, 102 pp. Postage 4 cents. 

Gives a list of Minerals found in North Carolina; describes the Treatment of Sulphuret Gold Ores, 
giving Localities; takes up the Occurrence of Copper in the Virgilina, Gold Hill, and Ore Knob districts; 
gives Occurrence and Uses of Corundum; a List of Garnets, describing Localities; the Occurrence, 
Associated Minerals, Uses and Localities of Mica; the Occurrence of North Carolina Feldspar, with 
Analyses; an extended description of North Carolina Gems and Gem Minerals; Occurrences of Mon- 
azite, Barytes, Ocher; describes and gives Occurrences of Graphite and Coal; describes and gives 
Occurrences of Building Stones, including Limestones; describes and gives Uses for the various forms 
of Clay; and under the head of "Other Economic Minerals" describes and gives Occurrences of 
Chrornite, Asbestos, and Zircon. 

7. Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1902, by Joseph Hyde Pratt, 
1903. 8°, 27 pp. Postage 2 cents. 

8. The Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1903, by Joseph Hyde- 
Pratt, 1904. 8°, 74 pp. Postage 4 cents. 

Gives decsriptions of Mines worked for Gold in 1903; descriptions of Properties worked for Copper 
during 1903, together with assay of ore from Twin-Edwards Mine; Analyses of Limonite ore from Wil- 
son Mine; the Occurrence of Tin; in some detail the Occurrences of Abrasives; Occurrences of Monazite 
and Zircon; Occurrences and Varieties of Graphite, giving Methods of Cleaning; Occurrences of Marble 
and other forms of Limestone; Analyses of Kaolin from Barber Creek, Jackson County, North Carolina. 

9. The Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1904, by Joseph Hyde 
Pratt, 1905. 8°, 95 pp. Postage A cents. 

Gives Mines Producing Gold and Silver during 1903 and 1904 and Sources of the Gold Produced during 
1904; describes the mineral Chrornite, giving Analyses of Selected Samples of Chrornite from Mines, 
in Yancey County; describes Commercial Varieties of Mica, giving the manner in which it occurs in 
North Carolina, Percentage of Mica in the Dikes, Methods of Mining, Associated Minerals, Localities, 
Uses; describes the mineral Bayrtes, giving Method of Cleaning and Preparing Barytes for Market; 
describes the use of Monazite as used in connection with the Preparation of the Bunsen Burner, and 
goes into the use of Zircon in connection with the Nernst Lamp, giving a List of the Principal Yttrium 
Minerals; describes the minerals containing Corundum Gems, Hiddenite and Other Gem Minerals, 
and gives New Occurrences of these Gems; describes the mineral Graphite and gives new Uses for same. 

10. Oyster Culture in North Carolina, by Robert E. Coker, 1905. 8°, 39 pp. 
Postage 2 cents. 

11. The Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1905, by Joseph Hyde 
Pratt, 1906. 8°, 95 pp. Postage 4 cents. 

Describes the mineral Cobalt and the principal minerals that contain Cobalt; Corundum Localities; 
Monazite and Zircon in considerable detail, giving Analyses of Thorianite; describes Tantalum Minerals 
and gives description of the Tantalum Lamp; gives brief description of Peat Deposits; the manufacture 
of Sand-lime Brick; Operations of Concentrating Plant in Black Sand Investigations; gives Laws 
Relating to Mines, Coal Mines, Mining, Mineral Interest in Land, Phosphate Rock, Marl Beds. 

12. Investigations Relative to the Shad Fisheries of North Carolina, by John 
N. Cobb, 1906. 8°, 74 pp., 8 maps. Postage 6 cents. 

13. Report of Committee on Fisheries in North Carolina. Compiled by 
Joseph Hyde Pratt, 1906. 8°, 78 pp. Postage 4 cents. 

14. The Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1906, by Joseph Hyde 
Pratt, 1907. 8°, 144 pp., 20 pi., and 5 figs. Postage 10 cents. 

Under the head of "Recent Changes in Gold Mining in North Carolina," gives methods of mining, 
describing Log Washers, Square Sets, Cyanide Plants, etc., and detailed descriptions of Gold Deposits 
and Mines are given; Copper Deposits of Swain County are described; Mica Deposits of Western North 
Carolina are described, giving Distribution and General Character, General Geology, Occurrence, 
Associated Minerals, Mining and Treatment of Mica, Origin, together with a description of many of 
the mines; Monazite is taken up in considerable detail as to Location and Occurrence, Geology, includ- 
ing classes of Rocks, Age, Associations, Weathering, method of Mining and Cleaning, description of 
Monazite in Original Matrix. 



PUBLICATIONS. 115 

15. The Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1907, by Joseph Hyde 
Pratt, 1908. 8°, 176 pp., 13 pi., and 4 figs. Postage 15 cents. 

Takes up in detail the Copper of the Gold Hill Copper District; a description of the Uses of Mona- 
zite and its Associated Minerals; descriptions of Ruby, Emerald, Beryl, Hiddenite, and Amethyst 
Localities; a detailed description with Analyses of the Principal Mineral Springs of North Carolina; 
a description of the Peat Formations in North Carolina, together with a detailed account of the Uses 
of Peat and the Results of an Experiment Conducted by the United States Geological Survey on Peat 
from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. 

16. Report of Convention called by Governor R. B. Glenn to Investigate the 
Pishing Industries in North Carolina, compiled by Joseph Hyde Pratt, State 
Geologist, 1908. 8°, 45 pp. Postage \ cents. 

17. Proceedings of Drainage Convention held at New Bern, North Carolina, 
September 9, 1908. Compiled by Joseph Hyde Pratt, 1908. 8°, 94 pp. Post- 
age 5 cents. 

18. Proceedings of Second Annual Drainage Convention held at New Bern, 
North Carolina, November 11 and 12, 1909, compiled by Joseph Hyde Pratt, 
and containing North Carolina Drainage Law, 1909. 8°, 50 pp. Postage 3 
cents. 

19. Forest Fires in North Carolina, During 1909, by J. S. Holmes, Forester, 

1910. 8°, 52 pp., 9 pi. Postage 5 cents. 

20. "Wood-using Industries of North Carolina, by Roger E. Simmons, under 
the direction of J. S. Holmes and H. S. Sackett, 1910. 8°, 74 pp., 6 pi. Post- 
age 7 cents. 

21. Proceedings of the Third Annual Drainage Convention, held under 
Auspices of the North Carolina Drainage Association; and the North Carolina 
Drainage Law (codified). Compiled by Joseph Hyde Pratt, 1911. 8°, 67 pp., 
3 pi. Postage 5 cents. 

22. Forest Fires in North Carolina During 1910, by J. S. Holmes, Forester, 

1911. 8°, 48 pp. Postage 3 cents. 

23. Mining Industry in North Carolina During 1908, '09, and '10, by Joseph 
Hyde Pratt and Miss H. M. Berry, 1911. 8°, 134 pp., 1 pi., 27 figs. Postage 
10 cents. 

Gives report on Virgilina Copper District of North Carolina and Virginia, by F. B. Laney ; Detailed 
report on Mica Deposits of North Carolina, by Douglas B. Sterrett; Detailed report on Monazite, by 
Douglas B. Sterrett; Reports on various Gem Minerals, by Douglas B. Sterrett; Information and 
Analyses concerning certain Mineral Springs; Extract from Chance Report of the Dan River and 
Deep River Coal Fields; Some notes on the Peat Industry, by Professor Charles A. Davis; Extract 
from report of Arthur Keith on the Nantahala Marble; Description of the manufacture of Sand-lime 
Brick. 

24. Fishing Industry of North Carolina, by Joseph Hyde Pratt, 1911. 8°, 44 
pp. Postage 5 cents. 

VOLUMES. 

Vol. I. Corundum and the Basic Magnesian Rocks in Western North Caro- 
lina, by Joseph Hyde Pratt and J. Volney Lewis, 1905. 8°, 464 pp., 44 pi., 
35 figs. Postage 32 cents. Cloth-bound copy 30 cents extra. 

Vol. II. Fishes of North Carolina, by H. M. Smith, 1907. 8°, 453 pp., 21 pi., 
188 figs. Postage SO cents. 

Vol. III. The Coastal Plain Deposits of North Carolina, by Wm. Bullock 
Clark, Benjamin L. Miller, L. W. Stephenson, B. L» Johnson and Horatio N. 
Parker. 

Pt. I.— The Physiography and Geology of the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, bv Wm. Bul- 
lock Clark, Benjamin L, Miller and L. W. Stephenson, 1911. 8°, 330 pp, 27 pi., 14 figs, Postage — . 

Pt. II. — The Water Resources of the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, by L. W. Stephenson 
and B. L. Johnson, 1911. 8°, 199 pp, 15 pi., 7 figs. Postage — . 

BIENNIAL REPORTS. 

First Biennial Report, 1891-1892, J. A. Holmes, State Geologist, 1893. 8°, 
111 pp., 12 pi., 2 figs. Postage 6 cents. 

Administrative report, giving Object and Organization of the Survey; Investigations of Iron Ores, 
Building Stone, Geological Work in Coastal Plain Region, including supplies of drinking-waters in 
eastern counties, Report on Forests and Forest Products, Coal and Marble, Investigations of Diamond 
Drill. 



116 PUBLICATIONS. 

Biennial Report, 1893-1894, J. A. Holmes, State Geologist, 1894. 8°, IF pp. 
Postage 1 cent. 

Administrative report. 

Biennial Report, 1895-1896, J. A. Holmes, State Geologist, 1896. 8°, 17 pp. 
Postage 1 cent. 

Administrative report. 

Biennial Report, 1897-1898, J. A. Holmes, State Geologist, 1898. 8°, 28 pp. 
Postage 2 cents. 

Administrative report. 

Biennial Report, 1899-1900, J. A. Holmes, State Geologist, 1900. 8°, 20 pp. 
Postage 2 cents. 

Administrative report. 

Biennial Report, 1901-1902, J. A. Holmes, State Geologist, 1902. 8°, 15 pp. 
Postage 1 cent. 

Administrative report. 

Biennial Report, 1903-1904, J. A. Holmes, State Geologist, 1905. 8°, 32 pp. 
Postage 2 cents. 

Administrative report. 

Biennial Report, 1905-1906, Joseph Hyde Pratt, State Geologist, 1907. 8°, 
60 pp. Postage 3 cents. 

Administrative report; report on certain swam^ lands belonging to the State, by W. W. Ashe; it also 
gives certain magnetic observations at North Carolina stations. 

Biennial Report, 1907-1908, Joseph Hyde Pratt, State Geologist, 1908. 8°, 
60 pp., 2 pi. Postage 5 cents. 

Administrative report. Gives special report on an Examination of the Sand-banks along the North 
Carolina Coast, by Jay F. Bond, Forest Assistant, United States Forest Service; certain magnetic ob- 
servations at North Carolina stations; Results of an Investigation Relating to Clam Cultivation, by 
Howard E. Enders, of Purdue University. 

Biennial Report, 1909-1910, Joseph Hyde Pratt, State Geologist, 1911. 8°, 
152 pp. Postage 10 cents. 

Administrative report. Contains Agreements for Cooperation in Statistical Work, and Topo- 
graphical and Traverse Mapping Work with the United States Geological Survey; Forest Work with 
the United States Department of Agriculture (Forest Service); List of Topographic maps of North 
Carolina and counties partly or wholly topographically mapped; description of special Highways in 
North Carolina; suggested Road Legislation; list of Drainage Districts and Results of Third Annual 
Drainage Convention; Forestry reports relating to Connolly Tract, Buncombe County; Transylvania 
County State Farm; certain Watersheds; Reforestation of Cut-over and Abandoned Farm Lands; 
on the Woodlands of the Salem Academy and College; Recommendations for the Artificial Regenera- 
tion of Longleaf Pine at Pinehurst; Act regulating the use of and for the Protection of Meridian Monu- 
ments and Standards of Measure at the several county-seats in North Carolina; list of Magnetic Declin- 
ation at the county-seats, January 1, 1910; letter of Fish Commissioner of the United States Bureau 
of Fisheries relating to the conditions of the North Carolina fish industries; report of the Survey for the 
North Carolina Fish Commission referring to dutch or pound-net fishing in Albemarle and Croatan 
sounds and Chowan River, by Gilbert T. Rude, of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey; His- 
torical Sketch of the several North Carolina Geological Surveys, with list of publications of each. 



Samples of any mineral found in the State may be sent to the office of the 
Geological and Economic Survey for identification, and the same will be clas- 
sified free of charge. It must be understood, however, that no assays, or 
quantitative detekminations, will be made. Samples should be in a lump 
form if possible, and marked plainly on outside of package with name of 
sender, post-office address, etc.; a letter should accompany sample and stamp 
should be enclosed for reply. 



These publications are mailed to libraries and to individuals who may 
desire information on any of the special subjects named, free of charge, except 
that in each case applicants for the reports should forward the amount of 
postage needed, as indicated above, for mailing the bulletins desired, to the 
State Geologist, Chapel Hill, N. G. 



hlorth Carolina Stat* Library 
Raleigh 



STATE LIBRARY OF NORTH CAROLINA 



3 3091 00748 3969